The trauma they lived through could cast a long shadow and impact the times to come! The surviving children and those parents who lost their children in the Masaipet bus accident will struggle throughout their lives or most of their adult life with complications arising out of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the short term, experts point out that for the first four to eight weeks, visual memories of the traumatic event will be fresh in the minds of the survivors, both children and parents. More importantly, in the present times, when visuals of the accident are beamed on television, the chances of carrying these visual memories in the mind is more among children, experts feel. Children will also experience frightening dreams, acute grief reactions and thoughts about their lost friends and so need constant reassurance to prevent them from going into depression.
“It is better to remove children from the present environment in which they are living. Relatives and friends should not discuss the event frequently. For families, these events will keep recurring visually for eight weeks. They have to be counselled properly,” says senior psychiatrist G. Prasad Rao.
Many doctors point out that in addition to extending clinical rehabilitation to children and parents, a long-term rehabilitation plan should be in place. They maintained that giving psychological support to children is the best way to prevent them from becoming ‘emotional wrecks’ whenever they recall the traumatic incident in future.
“Children tend to relive the trauma they experienced whenever they are under stress. Even adults tend to recall the trauma again and again. There is a definite need for a long-term psychological plan for both of them,” said S.R.R.Y. Srinivas, associate professor, (psychiatry), Institute of Mental Health, Erragadda.