MANILA -- For many typhoon survivors, the images of death and destruction caused by "Yolanda" may be very hard, if not impossible, to forget.
“Survivor's guilt” is one of the symptoms of trauma, according to clinical psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang.
Trauma is a normal reaction to situations, similar to what happened to the victims of "Yolanda."
There are different reactions to a traumatizing incident. Some blame themselves, while some go numb because the tragedy hasn't sunk in.
According to Carandang, it is important for someone who is traumatized to realize that it's okay to cry, shout, or be in a state of shock.
“Normal ‘yun dahil ‘yung sitwasyon talagang napaka-shocking. There’s nothing wrong with you, hindi ka nasisiraan ng ulo,” she said.
A person suffering from trauma must be able to express himself or this will haunt him or her for life.
It can also affect someone physically and could lead to illnesses, like high blood and heart attack.
Others should also be watched closely for suicide attempts.
Carandang added: “Importante mag-build tayo ng community, kasi importante sa trauma na maramdaman mo na hindi ka nag-iisa.”
Even Health Department spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag admitted he himself needs counseling after seeing dead bodies everywhere in Tacloban City.
“May epekto iyong psychological sa kanilang mga isipan. Baka hindi sila maka-move on,” he said.
Many Filipinos are affected, whether they are just watching television at home, covering the disaster, or helping in the relief and rescue operations.
“We should not blame [others],” said family counselor Maribel Dionisio. “Merong mga kritiko, merong nag-be-blame. Sana wala na ‘no. Sana [pag-usapan nalang] kung ano pwede nating gawin.”
Dionisio added that this is a time when an entire nation must stick together and help each other rise above the tragedy.