Post-traumatic stress disorder in disaster survivors.

Carol S North, E. M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In spite of the difficulties inherent in the study of traumatic stress in disaster victims, the benefit of obtaining more knowledge on the subject is potentially great, especially considering the numbers of individuals affected. Recent estimates of the frequency of world-wide traumatic events have determined that almost two million households annually experience damages and/or injuries from fire, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes alone. The population that is at risk is expected to grow exponentially with our expanding technology, making it even more vital to acquire knowledge to help the growing number of future disaster victims. Additionally, disaster research can contribute to a better understanding of PTSD and human coping processes that can be generalized to more ordinary stress situations. In the meantime, survivors of major catastrophes who experience acute symptoms of PTSD such as insomnia, nightmares, and jumpiness should be observed for nonresolution of symptoms over time, especially if there is a premorbid history of psychopathology or character problems. Otherwise, survivors may benefit from reassurance that PTSD symptoms are common in the short-term postdisaster period and that they can usually be expected to dissipate with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Therapy
Volume16
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1990

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Disasters
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Disaster Victims
Survivors
Tornadoes
Cyclonic Storms
Earthquakes
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Psychopathology
Technology
Wounds and Injuries
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Post-traumatic stress disorder in disaster survivors. / North, Carol S; Smith, E. M.

In: Comprehensive Therapy, Vol. 16, No. 12, 12.1990, p. 3-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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