TEMPO.CO, Palu - The Madani Regional Hospital in Palu, Central Sulawesi, found cases of depression caused by the earthquake and tsunami disasters that struck Palu as well as Donggala and Sigi Sub-district on Sept 28.
"I have seen two cases emerge, both of which involved women in their 30s," Director of Madani Hospital, Palu, Nirwansyah Parampasi stated in Palu, Tuesday.
He believes that the depression was caused by the trauma from the disaster they had encountered, leading them to anxiety and delusions of the ground shaking, as well as fear of loud noises.
"We have treated them using psychiatry measures, and doctors, who are still in Palu, are handling the victims with severe trauma," he noted.
Both women, who have yet to be identified, are not being hospitalized but are currently undergoing outpatient treatments.
"Both are being led to recovery with trauma healing programs as well as anti-depressant medications," he stated.
In addition to the two cases of depression, the hospital found cases of patients suffering from trauma, including a teenage girl Risna and her mother.
Nirwansyah said that Risna was traumatized, as she had been buried for over 12 hours until she finally fell unconscious.
"When she woke up, she could not recall who her father and mother were. The mother was experiencing anxiety while merely sitting still in a room. We provided both of them assistance through psychologists with psychiatric approach programs, with the hope that both of them would recover quickly," he noted.
As far as cases of trauma and excessive anxiety, Nirwansyah remarked that it was normal to witness a rise in the number of cases following the natural disaster in Central Sulawesi.
Madani Hospital in the Mamboro region of Palu City is around 1.5 kilometers from the beach but survived an earthquake that shook the waters around Palu Bay, followed by the tsunami on Sept 28, as it was located high enough from the coastline to not be swept away by a tsunami that measured a total height of up to four meters.
During this aftermath period of the natural disaster, the hospital continues to operate despite meager conditions to handle patients and victims of natural disasters, including 16 mentally ill patients, who had to be evacuated to the field around the hospital when the disaster struck.
While reviewing mental hospitals that had joined in offering treatment facilities for common diseases, Antara heard some mental patients yelling "earthquake sir, here is the center" which Nirwansyah believes was due to the influence of noise at the time of the disaster, during which both patients and hospital workers were tense.