5 symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
After the earthquake in Kahramanmaraş, earthquake survivors were transferred to different provinces so that they can continue their education, while Başak College Campus Manager, expert psychological advisor Süleyman Çokay spoke about how to approach children who may experience acute stress disorder in their post-earthquake new school . Çokay explained that acute stress disorder is a health problem that can occur immediately after a traumatic event, stating that it can cause various psychological symptoms, and if left undetected or cured, can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Expressing that there are five symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Çokay; “It may happen that the person is unable to stop and relive the traumatic event over and over, through flashbacks, memories or dreams. The person may fall into a sad, negative thought and mood. The person’s changing perception of reality, ignorance of what is happening around them, and the inability to remember parts of the traumatic event can occur. The person may deliberately avoid thoughts, feelings, people, or places they associate with the traumatic event. Sleep disturbances such as insomnia, difficulty concentrating, verbal or physical irritability or aggression may occur. Also, the person may become nervous or defensive and startled very easily,” he said.
Expressing that most of the symptoms are the situations experienced by earthquake victims, Çokay; “That is why the situation is very sensitive for children who are transferred to other provinces. Because they are in fear, anxiety, worry and hopelessness, the new city or school can sometimes be a trigger and sometimes a cure. It is therefore imperative that children and teachers receive informational training on this topic at school. It is very important not to ask the earthquake victim about his family, not ask him to explain the situation, or even ask anything about the situation. This will help the child feel more secure over time and establish routines. Both teachers and families should give informational speeches to their children about the absence of grouping in the classroom, the absence of peer bullying, the fact that these issues are not discussed and what the earthquake-affected child’s mood might be .
“Conversations need to be had to help children empathize”
On the other hand, Çokay said that the guidance service of the school should make a separate plan for each child affected by the earthquake and, if necessary, refer the child to the necessary institutions or organizations for individual trauma therapy after a while; “It should not be forgotten that the orientation process for the child’s current trauma symptoms and his new school and new life is very, very sensitive. Families should definitely explain this sensitive situation to their children at home, give speeches to support the child’s empathy with the other child, and school teachers should also conduct in-house training and seminars for children on this situation. We are all going through a sensitive period, some children may not be as aware of the process as adults due to their age. We must not ignore this situation. It is integrity, empathy, solidarity, love and cooperation that will heal us all.”