Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Hüsnü Erkmen made evaluations about the possible situation of psychiatric patients who have experienced earthquake trauma and shared his recommendations for both patients and their relatives.
Medicines must be provided to psychiatric patients
Emphasizing that psychiatric patients need more support after the earthquake they experienced, specialist psychiatry Prof. Dr. Hüsnü Erkmen said: “The most important thing is that many people have left their belongings under the rubble and that the medicines of these people may be under the debris left behind. Therefore, an unpleasant situation may arise, such as not being able to take their medicines. As with all types of chronic illnesses, there are medications that a person undergoing psychiatric treatment must take regularly and continuously. It is very likely that these people have been without medicines for a certain period of time because the pharmacies have been demolished. If there are psychiatrists who are there to help or who are alive and working in the hospital, they need to deliver these drugs quickly. Because the state also shares information, they can get their medicines before the notification time expires and without the intervention of a doctor.”
Images in the media can evoke unpleasant feelings
Erkmen, who advises people who do not live in the earthquake area but whose trauma was caused to contact specialists as soon as possible, said: “Unfortunately, there are people who have experienced similar things for other reasons. One of the main causes of mental trauma is the sudden onset of symptoms. Images such as rescue scenes shown on television suddenly evoke bad feelings in people who have been rescued before. Therefore, these feelings can manifest in the form of remembering that moment and feeling very bad, seeing it under a dent in a dream, or reacting intensely while watching earthquake scenes.
Emotions change depending on the trauma experienced
Noting that the feelings of individuals who have been traumatized in other ways may not be the same, Prof. Dr. Hüsnü Erkmen said: “For example, the feelings of someone who has been abused are not the same as the expression of the feelings of those who have been crushed by the earthquake. However, these symptoms can occur in people who have to stay indoors in different ways. At the same time, the destruction of one’s home and the death of relatives is not only a trauma, it can also be a serious grieving reaction. In this case, it should definitely be considered and treated.
Additional tasks fall on patient families
prof. Dr. Hüsnü Erkmen said: “Patient relatives should make an effort so that the sick person can get his medicines. In particular, patients with a mental illness, which we call psychosis, can struggle to obtain medicines, so relatives of patients must support sick people. Under those circumstances, the increase in the patient’s psychiatric disorder puts the relatives of the patients in a difficult situation. If the patient’s condition does not improve with medication, they should consult a psychiatrist immediately.