“If those who experienced the earthquake don’t want to talk, don’t force them”

Specialist psychologist Tuba Yıldırım Üstünel said: “People with post-traumatic stress disorder may have difficulty with attention and concentration, anxiety, thinking about the event often, dullness, numbness, lethargy, difficulty sleeping, seeing the event in dreams, sadness and anger. These usually occur in the first few days after a trauma. These people should be given the opportunity to express their experiences and feelings freely, and they should be encouraged to enlist the help of their relatives. If the person who experienced the earthquake process does not want to talk, he or she should not be forced to do so,” he said. Üstünel said the following about approaching people who suffered trauma after the earthquake: “It is important to accept and understand the event after the initial wounds have healed and people’s basic needs such as food and shelter have been met. Information must be conveyed accurately to those who witnessed the event and their trust must not be betrayed. After the earthquake, sharing the experiences and feelings of the traumatized person can bring great relief to the person. If the person wants to tell, he/she should listen and make him/her feel good.

However, people who don’t want to talk should not be forced, it should be mentioned that they can talk whenever they want. Severe trauma can be experienced after the earthquake and sometimes the people experiencing the event can give great reactions. You must be patient with these reactions and care must be taken to approach them with love. Earthquake victims should be helped to communicate with their families and relatives. During the communication process, comments that lead to suppressing their emotions should be avoided. In this process, negative conversations that damage people’s hopes should be avoided.


Üstünel pointed out that the approach to children is also very important: “They should not see the images and news on social media. Questions from children about the earthquake should not be ignored, but should be answered in a language they understand and in a non-intimidating manner. Be realistic when answering the questions, but avoid answers that scare children. They should be able to express their fears about the earthquake and should be supported to express their feelings and thoughts. Care must be taken to ensure that they are with people they trust in an environment that inspires confidence. Children should be given the opportunity to play to reduce their worries and fears.

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