Did you know…
PTSD rates often double in areas affected by natural disasters! In the general population, PTSD rates range from 5% to 19%, but this rises to 30% to 40% in areas affected by disasters (Neria et al).
But what is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Possible symptoms of PTSD after natural disaster include (but are not limited to) the following: (2)
- Heart rate increases before and during a PTSD
- Physical pain
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event
On top of experiencing these hardships, survivors of natural disasters in developing countries also do not have access to mental health support nor technology to get the necessary treatment. An estimated 40% of natural disaster survivors experience PTSD symptoms (3). These survivors are also living with the hardships of the natural disaster itself, such as lack of physical resources and possible destruction of homes and communities.
Solutions to this problem
EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is one successfully proven method to lessen the stress of PTSD. The therapy allows the user to ease the memories and emotions due to a very traumatic event and was intended for the use of those with PTSD. The combination of sounds, vibrations, and eye movement by the user while thinking of these traumatic events leads to the desensitization of these events (4).
Products on the market that include EMDR therapy include books, apps, and the traditional meeting with EMDR therapists (4). However, these existing solutions are not adept for those living in developing countries.
Neria Y, Nandi A, Galea S. Post-traumatic stress disorder following disasters: a systematic review. Psychol Med. 2008;38:467-480.
“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Fact Sheet.” Sidran.org, www.sidran.org/resources/for-survivors-and-loved-ones/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-fact-sheet/.
Alfonso, Cesar. “PTSD and Suicide After Natural Disasters.” Psychiatric Times, 24 Apr. 2018, www.psychiatrictimes.com/ptsd/ptsd-and-suicide-after-natural-disasters.
“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 31 July 2017, www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing.