Cleansing ritual effective in treating trauma stress-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
FOR A country often visited by disasters, many victims of natural and man-made disasters often become afflicted with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Beatrice Inumpa of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Department of Psychiatry said disaster survivors may have a hard time processing traumatic experiences.
Dr. Inumpa claimed the help of community and professional counseling, victims of trauma should get the proper safety and physical needs to process the tragic events
In the region, Cordillerans practice a cleansing ritual called ‘daw-es’ that according to Dr. Inumpa is part of a community intervention that will help people overcome trauma.
Daw-es is an Igorot traditional ritual, which aims to cleanse individuals from any bad spirits, memories and other bad omen.
The daw-es is also meant to drive away bad luck to prevent another tragic incident from occurring especially in the area of the accidents.
She stressed without these interventions, traumatized persons develop PTSD, which will already involve medication and a series of treatments and psychosocial counseling.
People with PTSD often are suffering flashbacks of recalling tragic events seeing dead bodies they have witnessed during disasters affecting their eating habits, work and sleep.
When individuals already suffer these symptoms, she suggests families should arrange for medical help by having a doctor diagnose and assess the condition of their loved ones.
In the region, she added a group of doctors are often invited by the Department of Health to conduct psychosocial counseling to victims of disasters and those that have lost their loved ones from calamities.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 23, 2012.