chapter  15
13 Pages

Bereavement and Disasters: Research and Clinical Intervention: Pål Kristensen and Maria-Helena Pereira Franco

D isasters are commonly divided into natural and human-induced or man-made types (Norris et al., 2002). Although natural disasters are perceived as unavoidable and usually develop more slowly, human-induced disasters are unnatural, typically strike more suddenly without forewarning, and are caused by a failure in control systems (Weisæth, 2006). Subsequently, humaninduced disasters are preventable, and someone will be held responsible and may be blamed. Although most people seem to cope well with the stresses associated with disasters (Bonanno, 2004), for many survivors disaster losses are associated with long-term mental health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression (MDD), and prolonged grief disorder (PGD) (Green et al., 1990; Kristensen, Weisæth, & Heir, 2009; Kuo et al., 2003). Moreover, the differences between the two kinds of disasters may in‹uence the psychological reactions seen among the bereaved. For example, deaths that are perceived as preventable due to negligence or human callousness may lead to more excessive anger and bitterness (Kristensen, Weisæth, Herlofsen, Langsrud, & Heir, submitted; Parkes, 2008).