The Japan Earthquake: Trauma and its Treatment

Our hearts go out to the people affected by the recent earthquake in Japan and the resultant tsunami. Watching all this devastation on TV is hard enough: Imagine being in the midst of it.

Research has found that people affected by natural disasters have something in common with war veterans.  Trauma leaves long lasting psychological scars in some people.

A diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) means that the individual who was in a dangerous situation, war zone or an earthquake experiences a high level anxiety. S/he might have disturbing involuntary and uncomfortable thoughts or images.

Treatment for trauma should address both individual and family issues. Family members that learn to psychologically support each show better results in the long run. Individual treatment includes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive and behavioral techniques, all of which focus on our emotions, beliefs and thoughts.

The families affected by the Japanese earthquake have a long road to recovery ahead of them. 

If you want to contribute to the Red Cross disaster relief efforts please go to Red Cross or text “Red Cross” to 90999. If you text in, $10 will be automatically charged to your phone bill as a donation.