Working title: Trauma following Forest fire infernos


This article looks at post-traumatic stress disorder using the example of forest fires.  It explains PTSD, looks at its history and calls for sufferers to get help.

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In the wake of the recent forest fires, the devastating losses and destruction, the after-math leaves more than burnt soil to clear away. While many have lost loved ones, their existence or housing in the recent infernos, many of the survivors, helpers and fire fighters may now as a consequence to their experiences of the traumatic events exhibit symptoms related to PTSD.

PTSD, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, is the label that has been given to the symptom complex that may evolve from the exposure to, and experiences of a terrorist attack, active warfare, a natural catastrophe, an accident, or another event that has left an individual severely traumatized.

Sufferers of such a trauma syndrome will exhibit characteristic symptoms of anxiety, overwhelming states of worry, fear, panic, phobia, compulsion, or depression. These may be expressed in the form of sleeplessness, nightmares, distressing recollection of experiences, irritation, increased anger, difficulty concentrating, emotional numbing, and retreating from social circles and family. Sufferers may become pessimistic about life, their future, may be disinterested in their environment, and may become aggressive and self-destructive. These symptoms may be as dilapidating that they may leave an individual unable to lead a normal life. Many people cannot return to, or take up a normal job, cannot live harmoniously with their loved ones and find the day to day proceedings unbearable and unmanageable. Not infrequently is it that sufferers resort to addictive behavior and detach from their families.


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