Earthquake survivors have scarred houses, experts warned!

Hotels in Antalya opened their doors to survivors whose homes were damaged or had to stay in other cities after the earthquakes. While the number of earthquake victims who came to Antalya exceeded 40 thousand, most of the hotels closed during the winter season were opened to accommodate the earthquake victims. The earthquake victims who come to Manavgat, where primarily 15,000 earthquake victims are to be accommodated in hotels, are registered by the coordination center and referred to 5-star facilities. Various activities are held in the facilities to boost morale for the children of earthquake-surviving families who have settled in the hotels. In the animation rooms of the hotels, an attempt is made to make the children forget the frightening moments after the earthquake. Teachers and social workers also participate in activities for children.

Children played various games with activities such as drawing and face painting. In the drawing activity of teachers and social workers, it was noticeable that most children drew houses. The children, who were asked to draw whatever they wanted with paint, painted the house of their dreams. The fact that each of the children, who lived through anxious days after the earthquake, drew a house made the trainers next to them sad. Some children, whose houses had been destroyed by the earthquake, painted the building they lived in and drew rainbows and green areas around it. Some children also painted black around the apartments they drew.

Mehmet Akif, 8, whose house was destroyed in Gölbaşı district of Adıyaman, reflected his memories in the painting. Mehmet Akif, who lives on the ground floor of the building, drew the rainbow that stretched to the roof of the apartment with watercolors in his painting. Mehmet Akif, who talked about the fear he experienced after the earthquake while painting the picture, said that the apartment they lived in was destroyed on the ground floor and he was very afraid of the earthquake. Ecrin Erol (9), who comes from Kahramanmaraş, drew a ball pool, flowers and sun to play next to her house. Ecrin said she feared their house had been damaged by the earthquake.

Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Akdeniz University Medical School and Head of the Trauma Committee of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Association of Turkey, Assoc. Dr. Serhat Nasıroğlu explained that especially women, children and people in the underprivileged group were affected by the earthquake and its aftermath.

Assoc. states that the mental state of children varies according to age group. Dr Nasıroğlu said: “Many symptoms can appear. For example, if the bedwetting is over in young age groups, it can start again. Problems such as sleep and appetite can occur in this process. Behaviors such as harming oneself or someone else can develop Failure can increase in the school process, attention disorders, problems regulating emotions,” Nasıroğlu said. “There may be issues such as having nightmares, reliving the event, feeling fear and anxiety. Some physical symptoms of this may also be shaking hands, heart palpitations, redness of the face at certain times and the fear of reliving the trauma any time ‘, he said.

Assoc. states that the risks are very high in the advanced age groups, especially in the adolescent groups. Dr. Serhat Nasıroğlu said, “There may be issues like running away from home, wavering in basic beliefs, increase in harmful behaviors, suicide attempts, substance use, being at risk of abuse.” These are very important processes. Families must be very careful. They will need to get help from child mental health specialists if necessary,” he said.

associate Dr. Serhat Nasıroğlu pointed out that children should not be forced on this point. Assoc. explains that artistic activities can have a positive effect on these children. Dr. Nasıroğlu said: “It is very important for the child to express his/her own feelings and thoughts through painting. Playing games is also an important issue. Some games may become monotonous, but it is necessary to experience traumatic games This way children can express their own feelings and thoughts and the child can be supported in conveying the feelings they are experiencing.

Assoc. argues that society and social institutions play an important role in supporting earthquake survivors in the coming period. Dr. Nasıroğlu emphasized the importance of approaching the child with psychosocial support. Assoc explains that families want to share their feelings with their children in this process. Dr. Nasıroğlu made the following suggestions:

“They do not want to convey their feelings so that the child is not affected by their own fears. It would be good to share the child’s horror, the feelings you have experienced and your thoughts with your children, without using the expressions “catastrophic” and “terrible”. It would be helpful to convey that the earthquake is a natural disaster and a scientific event. Some children may explain it in a different way. Children may convey it as, “This is our fault, we are guilty, it happened because of us.’ shall.”

“It’s very important to listen to children,” Assoc said. Dr. Nasıroğlu said: “It is helpful to ask what they felt at the time of the earthquake, what they thought, what they thought about the future, what would happen next. Sometimes children think that their own feelings are only experienced by themselves think, “I’m the only one who’s afraid, no one else is afraid.” “It will be possible for them to understand that they were affected by the event and that similar symptoms were experienced by someone else. It will be important to improve communication channels as much as possible, strengthen communication with the child and, if possible, spend more time. Despite all this, if the severity of the symptoms does not decrease, they should definitely apply to child and adolescent psychiatry clinics,” he said.

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