« 福島原発危機―世界から力を借りて | トップページ | ゴールドラッシュ @word »

2011年4月 4日 (月)


(Mainichi Japan) April 3, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Disaster anxiety disrupts judgment
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:不安が判断力を奪う /東京

In addition to the giant earthquake on March 11 and the tsunami it generated, more and more problems have occurred at the quake-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. Although their homes may have been spared from the tsunami, it is difficult to imagine the feelings of those who have had to evacuate from areas around the plant because of radiation.

One result of the plant crisis was that residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area were advised to not to allow infants to drink tap water. Levels of radioactive substances over health standards had been detected at a water filtration plant in the capital, spreading anxiety among many people.
Because of all this, I am now seeing patients visit my consultation room saying they are worried about radiation.

One said, "No matter how much I wash my hands, I can't shake the worry that they might be tainted with radioactive substances."

"I felt nauseated after drinking tea made with tap water," another said.

In one extreme case, a person had been refraining from deep breathing out of fear of inhaling radiation, and they panicked after feeling a pain in their chest.

Although these people are probably overly worried, the effects of these worries should not be taken lightly. The worries themselves can make people feel ill, adversely affecting their work and daily lives.

Overly worrying can make it impossible for us to make calm judgments, discouraging us from doing something, or conversely making us act impulsively. These worries can be more harmful than the reality that has spawned them.

The other day, I had an opportunity to talk with people in quake- and tsunami-hit areas.

"Many people in Tokyo who are scared that tap water might be contaminated with radiation have stocked up on mineral water," I told them.
"We here are glad just to have our tap water running again," one of them responded.

It is true that the crisis at the nuclear plant does not paint a pretty picture. It is feared that radioactive contamination of air and soil could continue for a long time. However, it is a big problem that some people outside of the disaster-hit areas, who need to support those in them, have stricken by panic and cannot lead their lives normally.

Close attention should be paid to the crisis at the nuclear power plant. However, I would like everyone to keep in mind that worry can breed more worry, robbing us of our judgment. We should continually ask ourselves if our worry is constructive, and try to stay calm when we can.

There are many people in the disaster-hit areas who can't wonder about whether or not to drink tap water because it's not running in the first place. While keeping that in mind, let us continue to keep watch over the development of the crisis and live our lives. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

毎日新聞 2011年3月29日 地方版


« 福島原発危機―世界から力を借りて | トップページ | ゴールドラッシュ @word »





« 福島原発危機―世界から力を借りて | トップページ | ゴールドラッシュ @word »