The extent of earthquake damage to children
The afternoon before yesterday, the reporter interviewed Professor Sun Xueli, a psychologist at the West China Mental Health Center in Sichuan.
According to him, any form of disaster can directly harm children’s psychology.
Reporter: How are the affected children and orphans different from ordinary injured children?
Sun Xueli: The injuries caused by floods, earthquakes, and sudden malignant events are called acute traumatic stress.
For children, the most common forms of response are dementia, numbness, loss of alertness and dodging or evasion, and then panic, shouting, nightmares, and injured postures repeatedly flash in their brains.
Reporter: When will the abnormal reactions in children caused by acute traumatic stress occur?
Sun Xueli: Mostly appear within half a day or one day after the incident.
Without timely intervention, the impact could be lifelong.
Reporter: What intervention measures do psychologists predict for children affected by the earthquake?
Sun Xueli: On-site emergency psychological assistance is supplementary. Follow-up must also receive more professional and comprehensive treatment by psychological institutions, such as cognitive reconstruction, systematic desensitization, and rational explanation of some problems.
If the child is still in bad condition for 1 month after the incident, parents should continue to seek help from a professional child psychiatrist to avoid chronic and severe post-traumatic stress disorder.