Experts Worry About PTSD Following Japan’s Natural Disasters

By Staff Writer

Following the traumatic natural disasters that occurred last week in Japan, residents of the island nation are still working to clean up and get their country back in order. However, some mental health professionals have voiced concerns that the survivors may soon face a whole new set of challenges.

Scott Lilienfeld, a psychology professor at Emory University, recently told Time Magazine that many individuals may face the specter of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Following such a large traumatic event, he said that it would be difficult to expect people to avoid the crippling mental condition.

The survivors do have some things working to their advantage. Lilienfeld told the news source that Japan has a pretty tight and interconnected social structure, which can provide emotional support to individuals in this time of need. This often helps people avoid PTSD.

Furthermore, following any crisis, researchers have noted that only about 30 percent of survivors go on to develop PTSD, Lilienfeld added. This means that no matter how horrific the event, most people will be fine after a short period.

In fact, other research has shown that some individuals who survive a traumatic event actually end up more mentally resilient, according to the New York Times. However, those who continue to struggle with symptoms of PTSD may benefit from seeking treatment from drug rehab and mental health facilities.