In this Monday (10)’s edition of the Medical Correspondent panel, of Novo Dia, neurosurgeon Fernando Gomes spoke about post-traumatic stress disorder, common after serious accidents, such as the rock slide in Furnas lake, in Capitólio ( MG), which killed ten people last Saturday.
According to the Fire Department, 32 people were injured. Among the dead, five people aged between 18 and 68 have been identified. About 70 tourists were at the site at the time of the tragedy. In an interview with CNN, a tour guide who was on one of the boats told about the “great scare” he experienced and revealed that he had seen two friends die in front of him.
For Fernando Gomes, the scene, comparable to a movie, is capable of developing symptoms in which flashbacks they cause feelings of anguish, physical pain, changes in appetite and sleep, with a higher incidence of nightmares. The picture can be noticed both in eyewitnesses of the accident and in people who saw the videos online.
In these cases, the functioning of deep brain structures can also be altered. This is the case of the hippocampus, the area of the brain known to be the “home” of memory, and the prefrontal cortex, which controls reality and human emotions.
According to the neurosurgeon, the first traumas can appear days after the initial contact with the tragedy. “The tendency is, obviously, for everyone to be shocked, especially those who experienced the situation and didn’t get hurt. Over time, memory becomes spaced and blends with everyday experiences.”
“Around 30 to 40% of people can have this post-traumatic stress syndrome, in which that mental screen and the thoughts that keep coming back all the time have to do with the traumatic experience. It is often followed… days, weeks and even months later, this can have its manifestation present”, he explained.
Gomes argues that the early approach by psychologists and psychiatrists is the most appropriate after the onset of the first symptoms, without the need for medication. The key, according to the doctor, may be to “reframe” the situation causing the stress. In more severe cases, clinical hypnosis can also be a viable alternative.
Panic syndrome can also develop in people who have never been to Capitol Hill, just seeing the images circulating on social media. The guideline, according to Gomes, is to reduce the relevance of the subject, avoiding watching the videos again and commenting on the subject.
As for people who were afraid of the situation and with places similar to the Capitol canyons, the neurosurgeon recommended basic care, such as checking the safety of the environment and following specific guidelines for access.
Reference: CNN Brasil