Collective stress

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mood disorder that arises from a stressful and violent event like natural disasters. It can happen immediately after the event that caused it, and remain months or even years later, causing physical and mental damage.


Collective stress

Alejandra Rivas, psychoanalyst of the APTA Foundation, explained in an interview for GetQoralHealth, that after the earthquake that affected several states of the Mexican Republic this September 19, all those who lived it will show symptoms of post-traumatic stress to a greater or lesser extent .

"In an event like the one we are living, we all process post-traumatic stress in a different way. Obviously it will influence the previous strength that you have to face day-to-day problems. That is what makes some overcome it faster than others, "explained the specialist.

Rivas added that, obviously, everything is strengthened in people who suffered greater losses during the disaster. "That a missing relative has touched us, that we have lost someone, that we ourselves were trapped in the rubble, obviously the impact is greater".


Stages of post-traumatic stress

Post-traumatic stress is divided into five phases



The body prepares to cope with the crisis symptoms such as:

Profuse sweating

Anxiety attacks

Incrise of cardiac frecuency

Increased respiratory rate


Adaptation or resistance

The body refuses to adapt to the situation and remains alert and afraid that the episode will happen again. Symptoms include:

Difficulty sleeping or nightmares

Flashbacks of the traumatic event

Feeling of sadness, worry, guilt and loneliness.


When the stressful stimuli are prolonged, time begins to feel tired. There may be:



Feeling overwhelmed

Destructive or problematic phase

After a while, the physical and psychological consequences of stress begin to manifest themselves.

"The permanence of symptoms will depend a lot on how we treat it. We can pretend that it did not happen and try to forget it, but in that case, in the long term, it can have negative consequences and it can accompany us for a long time. You have to be very careful because when stress is prolonged it can even lead to suicide, "Rivas said.

How to reduce and cope with post-traumatic stress?

The expert pointed out that what we have to do to overcome stress is to talk about it, mourn it and say what it feels like. It is fundamental NOT TO BE ONLY at this stage. "The most important thing is to create a support network with nearby people and talk a lot. We have to talk about what we saw, how we experienced it, what we imagine and the fear we feel. It is essential that people are not alone. "

Finally Alejandra Rivas stressed that special attention must be paid to children: "They also resent the consequences of post-traumatic stress, worse they will act, you have to be aware of how they play and what they play. If you see that they become violent, for example, it is a sign of post-traumatic stress, "he concluded.

To receive medical attention, people who present symptoms of post-traumatic stress can go to the Psychoanalytic Society of Mexico Tel. 5560915012 and 5560716752

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