Is psychological normalization possible after an earthquake?

Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan evaluated the importance of normalization after the earthquake. Noting that the main issue after natural disasters such as earthquakes is to provide basic needs, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “First of all, basic needs such as food, drink and shelter should be provided. After their basic needs are met, this post-traumatic recovery and return to normal is easier. Therefore, when basic needs are met, it is necessary to talk about post-traumatic recovery and return to normal.” said.

Disaster response planning must be made

Noting the importance of making a disaster management plan about what should happen before and after the disaster, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said: “In the disaster literature, there are disaster management plans, what happens before, during and after the disaster has to happen. It is important that these plans are made by the institutions involved and that these plans are then gradually implemented. According to this plan, there should be a disaster response plan, a recovery plan in the second phase after the disaster and a reconstruction plan in the third phase. said.

We have seen that lessons have to be learned.

Emphasizing the necessary lessons to be learned about the outcome after the earthquakes in the center of Kahramanmaraş that swept the whole country, Tarhan said, “We have seen all this, we have to learn some lessons. A standard, a policy must be established for an earthquake. Shortcomings related to this should be supplemented. If there is confidence that the shortcomings will be rectified, it is easy for people to recover after the disaster. After this disaster, we have to rethink our daily, sudden decision, the feeling that nothing will happen to us, and this culture.” said.

Noting that especially for the expected earthquake in Istanbul, not only the administrators but also the society have duties, Tarhan said: “Making a plan in the first place by the institutions and announcing this plan creates the basic sense of trust in people. To carry out this plan, society must accept it. Society must also provide feedback on this. Let’s not just expect it from the managers, we should all be sensitive to this issue.” said.

The way of dealing with everyone is different.

Expressing that after disasters, traumatic and shocking experiences, everyone has a coping method in accordance with their personality structure, cultural values ​​and local culture. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “In Western societies, especially in the US, among the veterans who come with this war trauma, the most post-traumatic cases become alcoholics. In other words, alcohol addiction is seen to be developed in one third of these soldiers, that is, alcohol consumption is used as a method of coping. This is not so common with us. Another coping method is avoidance behavior. In other words, never talk about earthquake-related issues, never address these issues, that is, ignore them in a way. This is also not realistic. The behavior of avoiding the facts of life when he appears before him, when he thinks about it or when he asks about the child is also not very healthy. said.

The third coping method is mental protection.

Tarhan stated that the third generation of psychotherapy is the third generation of psychotherapies and said that it is a common religious coping method in our society. Noting that people resort to beliefs and high values ​​in situations such as natural disasters, which they have no control over and are not strong enough, Tarhan said, “Third generation psychotherapies have 12 steps. One is resorting to a higher power, a higher will, in situations that one cannot control or change. That is, he has a mental shelter… He has experienced an event. This is not only a disaster such as an earthquake, but also a great sense of anger and revenge in the event of an unexpected event such as a traffic accident. That resentment, anger, and revenge is not something to carry with you for a lifetime. One has to accept it and deal with it. He needs to accept the “I have to go through this so this is coming my way in my lifeline” and focus on how to deal with it. So one has to prepare for the worst case scenario and wait for the best case scenario. Mindfulness suggests this: prepare for the worst-case scenario, but wait for the best-case scenario. Make a mental plan, a scenario of what you will do if the same thing happens to me again. After that, wait for the good, don’t wait for the bad scenario. Take your precautions, prepare for winter, wait for summer… These are the beautiful teachings of Anatolian wisdom. In mindfulness, the person is taught the techniques related to this.” said.

Problem-solving ability must be acquired…

Emphasizing the importance of acquiring problem-solving skills, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “It is important to first define the problem and then identify possible solutions. Then you need to make a decision and move forward on that resolution path. You don’t have to go back again and again. What happens if the person does this? It’s problem-solving ability. This is something that can really be applied to any life event, trauma, shock experience, or exam weakness. Instead of saying I’m ruined, I’m dead, I’m done… Pain, difficulties, problems are part of growing up anyway. At the end of this, growth is already emerging. For him, pessimism is the biggest enemy here.” said.

Must focus on the future

Arguing that in cases such as trauma one should not be pessimistic and lessons should be learned, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “In such events, ‘Why?’ Instead of saying ‘What should I do now? What should I do so it doesn’t happen again? How am I supposed to chart a path with survivors and loved ones?’ You have to think about it and focus on it. The person should take precautions against the bad screenplay, write a good screenplay, move in that direction and set a goal for themselves. Otherwise, 50 of the 60 minutes will be spent thinking. No nervous system and no soul can endure this for long.”

We will get through this difficult period

Noting that the post-earthquake period is definitely one of the most difficult periods of life, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “This is a difficult period in our lives. Just as there are autumn, winter, spring and summer in human life, there are such periods in human life. We will somehow get through this difficult period. How do we prepare for winter and get through the winter comfortably. We will also get through these periods, but preparation is necessary. If you don’t make preparations and take precautions when winter comes, you will just face difficulties in life. There are also difficult times in this life. We have to get through these periods somehow.”

Social support is very important during the recovery period

Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan stated that if the children’s sense of hope and confidence remains high, recovery will be easy, adding that adults also have a recovery period after trauma, adding that social support is very important during this recovery period.

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