Haiti Quake Survivors at Risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

As Haitians struggle to cope up from the apocalypse of Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake, mental health experts have warned that the most severe psychological effects won't take form until individuals' situations stabilize.

The calamity is reported to have flown a total of 460 off the small Caribbean island and left tens of thousands dead.

Feelings of confusion, fear, agitation, grief and anger that besiege a large-scale traumatic event such as the Haiti earthquake result in more pronounced psychological disorders once people's basic human needs are taken care of, experts reveal.

However, one psychologist claims that once the joy and relief vanishes, those returning to Canada could be plagued by anxiety and fear.

The horrible spectacles of devastation, with piles of rubble where buildings once stood and dead bodies all over the streets, could be images that could become immortal in the people that have left the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

Dr. Peter Bieling, a psychologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton claim, “Some people may begin having nightmares, flashbacks or become emotionally numb as a result of their traumatic experience”.

“Letting people be aware of the signs and symptoms to watch out for, letting them know they can talk about it if they want, and letting them know their feelings are completely normal, could pose as an aid for potential sufferers of PTSD”, Bieling said.