Most of the natural disasters are associated with various risks such as aftershocks, stress, anxiety and depression as well as post traumatic stress disorder. An earthquake is among the many natural disasters that are associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a condition characterized by anxiety and is triggered by experiencing or even observing conditions that threaten or cause death to individuals.
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Such experiences and conditions trouble someone psychologically. Although earthquakes are serious natural disasters leading to serious conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder, research in the same area is in adequate especially involving a randomly chosen sample. This paper discusses earthquakes as a significant cause of the post traumatic stress disorder.
Earthquake as a Cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
It is important to understand the meaning of an earthquake to be in a position to understand how it causes post traumatic stress disorder. It occurs due to shifting of the plates of the earth which causes violent shaking on the earth’s surface. Due to the impacts of the same, people are killed, injured, burnt by fires or even trapped in the collapsing buildings. Since the situation is usually psychologically disturbing, it triggers a reaction which ends up causing the post traumatic stress disorder.
Dependent and Independent Variables of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
As much as earthquakes cause traumatic stress disorder, studies of Xingli, Mingxin, Mingjing, Jiannong, & Li, (2010) reveal that there are other causes of the same. The main aim of the study was to analyze personality factors that contributed to the stress among orphans who survived the Sichuan Earthquake.
The results of the study indicated that most of the orphans who lost their parents during an earthquake end up developing the post traumatic stress disorder. Similarly, a study conducted to investigate the effects of an earthquake that took place in China in the year 1976 illustrated that majority of the orphans ended up suffering post traumatic stress syndrome. Therefore, in such cases, earthquake happens to be the independent variable of the condition.
Although earthquake is a major cause of the post traumatic stress disorder, there are other factors that determine the development of the same.
For example, the study illustrated that some personality types are more prone to the condition than others. In addition, orphans were more vulnerable to the condition compared to the non orphan children. Some personality traits like the neuroticism increased the vulnerability of the children affected by earthquakes. The main reason is due to the fact that that such a trait magnifies the impact of the trauma.
Since some other personality traits were considered, the results illustrated that during the post earthquake period, some personality factors like neuroticism do not only predict the onset of the condition but also the severity of the symptoms. Therefore, there are some environmental as well as personality factors which act as dependent variables in post traumatic stress syndrome resulting from the earthquake trauma (Xingli, Mingxin, Mingjing, Jiannong, & Li, 2010).
The research has indicated that an earthquake is one of the many causes of the post traumatic syndrome. The main reason is due to the fact that it causes trauma which in turn triggers some reaction in the brain which ends up causing the post traumatic stress disorder.
While earthquake is an independent variable, there are other dependent variables such as environmental and personality factors. Although some personality factors like neuroticism increase the vulnerability, a trait like extraversion reduces the vulnerability of developing PTSD. Therefore, although earth quake is a significant cause of the PTSD, there are other factors which still contribute to the same and to the severity of the symptoms.
Xingli, Z., Mingxin, L., Mingjing, Z., Jiannong, S. & Li, C. (2010). Earthquake, Personality Predictors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Orphaned Survivors of the Sichuan Earthquake. Web.