Most of the displaced people of the eruption of Mount Merapi do not experience psychological problems because they have adjusment ability to environmental changes. "Approximately, 97 percent of the IDPs could overcome temporary psychological disturbance," said the coordinator of psychology volunteer team, Rahmat Hidayat, Ph.D., when met at the health post at the Maguwoharjo Stadium on Friday (12/11).
Up until now, the team of volunteers who are members of the Center for Public Mental Health (CPMH), Faculty of Psychology UGM, has provided psychological assistance to 340 people. "We provide psychological assistance and counseling for cases ranging from mild to severe cases," said Rahmat.
He mentioned that for more severe cases, a team of psychologists and students of S-2 Psychology is deployed. As for play therapy for children, it is performed by students of S-1Psychology. For the psychological assistance, IDPs are divided into two categories. The first category is those who are displaced because their house is in the danger zone, while the second category is for those whose house has been destroyed and there are family members who died. "These people certainly need to get our serious treatment," he said.
Most of the cases case needing psychological assistance, according to Rahmat, are affecting IDPs who are experiencing continued fear and anxiety. They mostly have insomnia, restlessness, and excessive anxiety. "There are many of them experiencing these problems," he said.
In addition, the UGM psychologist volunteer’s team also handles 40 cases that may lead to mental disorder. However, the case is not a new case that is caused by Merapi eruptions, but they already have a disorder history. "The disturbance appears again because of the drastic changes in their current circumstances," he explained.
Members of the psychologist team, Dr. Tina Afiatin, said the social support from family or fellow IDPs is very helpful to be able to adjust to the conditions this time. "Those who experience disturbance in adjusting themselves usually have little or no support from their relatives," she said.
IDPs who are experiencing disturbance in adjustment usually suffer from insomnia, hypertension, and psychosomatics. These are indicated by the desire to immediately return home, not feeling welcomed in the evacuation post, not wanting to eat and talk. For severe cases, they usually experience constant fear, cry many times, and experience hallucinations.