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Mental Health Problems following the 2005 Earthquake in Kashmir: Findings of Community-Run Clinics

  • Rakesh Kumar Chadda (a1), Anil Malhotra (a2), Nanaji Kaw (a1), Jaspreet Singh (a2) and Hem Sethi (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction:

Events such as earthquakes are followed by significant psychiatric morbidity due to the enormous damage caused to life, health, property, and other resources in the affected area. In October 2005, a devastating earthquake occurred in Kashmir in India. A team of mental health professionals visited the earthquake stricken area to provide mental health services five weeks after of the event.

Methods:

The team conducted clinics at >30 sites in different villages in the area. This paper describes the mental health problems encountered in those communities.

Results:

All patients seen in the clinics had their houses destroyed by the earthquake.Nearly one-fourth had suffered serious physical injuries and 12% had lost one of their family members. Common psychiatric diagnoses included adjustment disorders (39.6%), depressive episode (22.6%), and other stress disorders (21.8 %). Only 10 (3.3%) patients were found to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though PTSD-like symptoms were reported by more than two-thirds of the patients.

Conclusions:

Adjustment disorders, depression, other stress reactions, and PTSD-like symptoms were the common mental health problems five to six weeks following an earthquake.

Copyright

Corresponding author

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029, India E-mail: drrakeshchadda@hotmail.com

References

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Keywords

Mental Health Problems following the 2005 Earthquake in Kashmir: Findings of Community-Run Clinics

  • Rakesh Kumar Chadda (a1), Anil Malhotra (a2), Nanaji Kaw (a1), Jaspreet Singh (a2) and Hem Sethi (a1)...

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