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The mental health toll in Fukushima

Radiation fears bring psychological stress to Fukushima residents, Mainichi Daily News, 19 Aug 11, FUKUSHIMA — Residents of Fukushima Prefecture are increasingly visiting psychiatrists complaining of sleeplessness or the inability to concentrate as they worry about the effects of leaked radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the Mainichi has learned……

At Hiroyama Mental Clinic in Fukushima, two or three people a week have complained of radiation-related stress over the past month. They talk of symptoms like crying without knowing why, or feeling like their chests are being compressed. About a month after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the nuclear disaster, lingering fear from the tsunami or the collapse of homes was a common complaint from patients. But from around three months after the earthquake, radiation-related stress became the more prominent problem…..

Insomnia and other such symptoms can be lessened with medicine, but it is not easy for doctors to address the root cause of people’s radiation anxieties. Information on radiation is complicated and the effects of the leaked radiation on humans are still unclear.

“Data is scarce. We haven’t the grounds to tell patients, ‘There’s nothing to worry about,'” says Naoto Kobayashi, the head of Azuma Clinic in Fukushima city.

Hiroyama worries, “If a situation where people can’t trust the government’s safety standards continues, the number of people feeling stress may increase.”….http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110819p2a00m0na016000c.html

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August 19, 2011 - Posted by | health, Japan

1 Comment »

  1. See also on this subject:

    http://survivaljapan.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/psychological-resilience/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/09/fukushima-japan-nuclear-disaster-aftermath

    Unfortunately, the Mainichi Shimbun of your post does not work anymore, but I remembered reading the article when it was first published. I think it was removed because the world must know that “everything is fine in Japan” (irony intended).

    Comment by survivaljapan | October 16, 2011 | Reply


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