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How does a natural disaster like earthquake hit you psychologically?

Ill-preparedness can cause larger post-disaster losses and greater loss of life. © Shutterstock

Natural disasters can get quite difficult for anybody to cope with. Here are 5 commonly seen psychological effects after facing a calamity like an earthquake.

Written by Aishwarya Iyer |Updated : August 29, 2018 5:08 PM IST

West Bengal's Hooghly district was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 yesterday evening. Though there wasn't loss of life or injury as yet, the tremors could be felt in the 6 districts of West Bengal and various parts of Odisha. We are often helpless when nature turns furious against us. Almost nothing can be done while nature turns an angry eye on us. Apart from all the physical disparities that nature imposes upon us, there are various psychological effects of natural disasters on us. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Shock: "Oh god, this is life threatening," is something you'll hear from people if they have experienced any kind of disaster. Shock is often the first reaction to any disaster. This can especially be horrifying for people who have seen other people die or suffer. Shock often leads to various physical issues like lack of speech etc.
  2. Denial: The total disbelief that a particular event has occurred can be another blow for anybody experiencing it. Most survivors have a mix of shock and denial, so much so that for months to come they find it difficult to believe that their life was at stake. It is due to this that most people miss out on taking primary steps of recovery like claiming for insurance or reporting about missing things/ people etc.
  3. Insecurity: When a calamity hits you, you are often stuck in a state where you cannot understand what to do next. Most often, your home, the physical roof of security could be lost. That leads to a lot of mental stress, tension, anxiety and the fear of future.
  4. PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder): This is an extreme form of stress after the event has occurred. This could last for days, months, years. There could be panic attacks, persistence reclusiveness and so on. This could lead to an imbalance of emotions, angry outbursts etc.
  5. Other mental conditions: For those who are already suffering from an illness, the symptoms could get worse. While for others, the disaster could act as a trigger for severe anxiety, panic attacks, depression or extreme stress.

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