Psychological consequences of Japan disaster 'will remain for some time'

The Japanese disaster will result in psychological consequences that will be felt for some time, it has been claimed.

Dr Magda Osman, Psychology Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, has suggested such implications are shown in how individuals inherently react to situations that they could not have predicted.

The expert said a typical immediate response to such an event is to see communities pulling together and helping each other out - but the problem begins to take shape when considering the long-term effects.

She noted: "After about two months of rebuilding and cleaning up, we tend to experience a second major slump when we realise the full severity of the situation in the longer term."

This is the point when severe depression could be triggered, Dr Osman added.

Jennifer Wild, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "The disaster in Japan is far from over. Survivors are at increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, a severe stress reaction. They've lost loved ones, been displaced, and may even face radiation exposure. All these factors have been linked to chronic stress and depression that's lasted for years after other similar events."

Fellow Chartered Psychologist Professor Lorraine Sherr recently claimed the moment a natural disaster strikes is emblazoned on a person's psyche, possibly forever.

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