Disaster-related psychiatric disorders among survivors of flooding in Ladakh, India.


BACKGROUND Heavy rainfall in northern India in August 2010 caused flash floods, seriously damaging homes and infrastructure. There have been no major disasters in the history of Ladakh, and no surveys on post-disaster psychiatric disorders have been conducted in this area. AIMS AND METHODS To examine the impact of this disaster in Ladakh one month post-disaster, we visited Choglamsar, located near the town of Leh, where the flood had the most severe impact. In total, 318 survivors (mean age: 58.6 years; female-male ratio: 59.7%; Tibetan refugees: 86.2%) participated in the survey. We used the two-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) along with questions covering background characteristics and disaster exposure. A psychiatrist interviewed the survivors with a single or double positive score in the PHQ-2 or with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION There were only two PTSD cases and five of major depressive disorders. PTSD and depression were less common in the Tibetan cultural areas than in other areas. The social background and temperamental characteristics of the Tibetan culture may play a suppressive role in psychiatric disorders.

DOI: 10.1177/0020764012440677

Cite this paper

@article{Ishikawa2013DisasterrelatedPD, title={Disaster-related psychiatric disorders among survivors of flooding in Ladakh, India.}, author={Motonao Ishikawa and Naomune Yamamoto and Gaku Yamanaka and Kuniaki Suwa and Shun Nakajima and Reiko Hozo and Tsering Norboo and Kiyohito Okumiya and Kozo Matsubayashi and Kuniaki Otsuka}, journal={The International journal of social psychiatry}, year={2013}, volume={59 5}, pages={468-73} }