“Earthquakes affect mental health deeply”

“Earthquakes affect mental health deeply”
18 February 2020

Vulnerable to natural disasters, human psychology succumbs to mental problems. The recent earthquakes in Turkey and possible earthquakes predicted by experts trigger anxiety.

*** This release is originally published in Turkish.
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ISTANBUL (TR) - Natural disasters and possible effects of climate change cause chronic anxiety in addition to frightening and shocking effects in humans. Stating that this situation is called “eco-anxiety”, psychologist and psychotherapist Anıl Yılmaz said, “As well as the earthquake survivors in Manisa and Elazig, they affected the inhabitants of cities such as Istanbul where the great earthquake was expected. Earthquake anxiety is triggered not only by the earthquake moment and fear after it, but also by concerns such as unprepared seizures for natural disasters, uncertainty, loss and loss of housing. Experts state that rational measures should be taken to overcome earthquake anxiety.”

“Psychological destructions of the earthquake should be taken seriously”

Turkey earthquake in evaluating the effects of psychological psychologist and psychotherapist Yilmaz said, "we refer to as anxiety disorders, anxiety, worry and doors is not only associated with negative thoughts about the future. This situation, which affects people's daily lives negatively when it reaches serious dimensions, can also be triggered by natural disasters that are beyond human control and cannot be predicted. The recent earthquakes in our country have triggered anxiety due to the shock caused by the earthquake moment and the negative scenarios left in the mind. In addition to being suppressed with anxiety, human psychology, which is vulnerable to earthquake and believes that this is valid for all conditions, may not make rational and radical decisions that should be taken before, during or after an earthquake. "Such psychological destructions that the earthquake can cause pose a greater danger than environmental destructions."

“Increase the measures, not anxiety about earthquake”

Underlining that attitudes and behaviours exhibited to take measures can also trigger anxiety, Anıl Yılmaz said, “Ignoring anxiety about an earthquake or suppressing reactions may further anxiety. However, situations where earthquake reality is accepted, lifestyle and attitudes are shaped around this fact may cause anxiety. Behaviours such as always leaving the doors or lights of the rooms open, having the earthquake bag ready next to the bed, or leaving the children alone during their sleeping hours lead to moving the avoided scenarios to the centre of life and making the anxiety situation constant. According to the cognitive-behavioural approach in psychology; Depending on the situation, unrecognized anxieties are triggered and many anxieties can be experienced simultaneously and with intense emotions. For this, first of all, it is necessary to act in a planned manner, to make concrete arrangements recommended in the environment and living areas, to inform children about emergencies, and to raise awareness, not anxiety. In order for individuals to relax their minds and act rationally, they must know that both they and their children are prepared for an earthquake.”

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