Psychology Specialist Kln. Ps. Müge Leblebicioğlu Arslan draws attention to the fact that disasters can have different effects on society, including economic, psychological and social. Istanbul Okan University Hospital Psychology Specialist Kln. Ps. Müge Leblebicioğlu Arslan made a statement about the effects of disasters.
Effects of disasters on adult mental health
It is thought that disasters may trigger the symptoms of Eco Anxiety in people. Eco Anxiety; It can be defined as a person's concern about ecological disasters due to climate changes. People showing the symptoms of Eco Anxiety experience intense anxiety that there will be a disaster even though there is no disaster and that the future of all living things on earth will be adversely affected. This situation can lead to a decrease in the functionality of the person in his daily life, to feel guilt, depression and hopelessness, and to negatively affect the satisfaction he gets from life.
Anxiety felt at a certain level has a positive effect on human health. A certain level of anxiety protects the person against the dangers in his life and ensures his survival. In fact, it can be said that the issue is the intensity of this feeling, how much it affects the functionality of the person and how it is managed, rather than whether or not to worry.
Disasters create psychological trauma
Not every individual's psychology is affected by disasters at the same level. The severity of disasters, the person's temperament, previous experiences, and the impact of experiences in early childhood play an important role in determining the psychological reactions of the adult individual after the disaster. Psychological trauma reactions can be seen in adults after a disaster. These reactions can negatively affect the lives of people and the people around them, and even impair the mental health of the person for a lifetime if the necessary psychological support is not provided. The severity of the disaster experienced, whether the person is directly exposed to the event, witnessing or hearing someone else's experiences also play an important role in the psychological trauma reactions seen in adults after the disaster. These reactions can be seen immediately after a disaster such as a fire, or they can be seen in the future.
Disasters make people say the world is no longer safe
Disasters can shake people's belief that the world is a safe place and cause psychological problems. In the face of the traumatic event; depressive symptoms such as fatigue, exhaustion, burnout, insomnia, appetite problems, anger, tension, hopelessness, helplessness, difficulty in making decisions, feelings of guilt and thoughts, feeling worthless, social isolation, difficulty in focusing, loss of interest and desire; psychosomatic symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea and headache; They may show signs of anxiety such as anxiety, worry, and fear. In this process, adults can resist, deny, suppress, and try to cope with their mental structure by using defense mechanisms in a dysfunctional way. It can be said that these reactions immediately after disasters are expected to a certain extent.
Many such reactions are actually normal responses to an abnormal event that happens suddenly, unexpectedly. In this process, eating regularly, getting enough sleep, doing sports, giving individual or social support to disaster areas, allowing to experience those feelings for a while instead of suppressing emotions, expressing feelings and thoughts, sharing with family or close friends, they spend time, daily It can be said that maintaining routines and avoiding excessive exposure to social media use are very important in increasing well-being. However, if these reactions do not decrease over time or if their severity gradually increases, if they begin to affect the daily life and functionality of the person, if they experience intense anxiety symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, trembling in the hands and feet, pressure in the chest, dizziness, if they experience constant anxiety and fear for no reason, If there are thoughts, images and feelings that one cannot cope with or have difficulty in coping with, it is very important for the person's psychological well-being to get support by talking to a mental health specialist.