Trauma in the tsunami aftermath: there is a way out

Originally appeared on

Although I live in Australia, far away from the tragic 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, I’ve still been distressed by the scenes of hundreds of bodies lined up for identification in makeshift open-air reception areas.

Like many other travelers, I’ve visited Southeast Asia. I’ve seen first-hand the lack of resources and infrastructure in many locations, and I’ve noticed how the people there never complain. They strive to do the best they can with what's available to them.

But even this non-complaining attitude can be tested by the unexpectedness of sudden disaster and death. How can you effectively deal with the mental and emotional side-effects of trauma?

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