A majority of victims remain traumatised by the tragedy suffering mainly from PSTD. Psycho-social counselling and rehabilitation for survivors is badly needed as many have a deep fear of returning to work in a factory or entering high-rise buildings. Headaches, sleeplessness and reoccurring nightmares are common. Clinical psychologists attempt to educate and motivate victims, some of whom do not even realise the trauma they are experiencing can be reduced by professional help.
Ideally, survivors would have received counselling immediately after the tragedy but sadly due to resource constraints, few of the victims initially received treatment. But thanks to a donation we received last summer, Meena was able to begin ongoing individual and group therapy sessions for survivors. Since June 2014, over 2,000 people have received treatment on the programme - each patient with their own touching story of survival.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Why are traumatic events so shocking?
They undermine our sense that life is fair, reasonably safe and that we are secure. A traumatic experience makes it very clear that we can die at any time. The symptoms of PTSD are part of a normal reaction to narrowly avoided death.
Does everyone get PTSD after a traumatic experience?
No. But nearly everyone will have the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the first month or so. This is because they help to keep you going, and help you to understand the experience you have been through. This is an "acute stress reaction". Over a few weeks, most people slowly come to terms with what has happened, and their stress symptoms start to disappear.
Not everyone is so lucky. About 1 in 3 people will find that their symptoms just carry on and that they can't come to terms with what has happened. It is as though the process has got stuck. The symptoms of post traumatic stress, although normal in themselves, become a problem - or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - when they go on for too long.
What makes PTSD worse?
The more disturbing the experience, the more likely you are to develop PTSD. The most traumatic events:
- are sudden and unexpected
- go on for a long time
- leave someone feeling trapped
- are man-made
- cause many deaths
- cause mutilation and loss of arms or legs
- involve children.