Earthquake-related stressors associated with suicidality, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress in adolescents from Muisne after the earthquake 2016 in Ecuador
Background:The Ecuadorian earthquake in April 16th was the second strongest and deadliest in 2016 worldwide, with approximately one million people affected. In this paper, we analyzed the psychological impact and the relationship between mental health events and various earthquake-related stressors related to the earthquake, nine months after the event. Methods:We conducted an analytical cross‑sectional study, applying an anonymous survey to 316 adolescents (13-19 years old) from Muisne,
... from Muisne, Ecuador. Suicidal tendency, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress (PTSD) were evaluated via the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS), Spence Children's Anxiety Scale, Okasha Suicidality Scale, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the adapted seven-questions earthquake-related stressors survey. Results:We found a high prevalence of suicidal ideations and behavior, posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety compared to international studies. Even though adolescents currently living in shelters had higher levels of anxiety, their suicidal tendency was significantly lower than those living in their own or their relatives' home. Finally, the earthquake-related stressors were not associated with suicidality and mental health events, with the exception of economic damage suffered by the family. Conclusions:High levels of depression, post-traumatic stress and anxiety among high-school students were found, especially among those who have suffered serious economic damage. The economic impact in their families and high unemployment rates among their parents seems to be related to lack of hope and favorable perspectives for their future, situation that might lead to lead to emotional disturbances and psychological disorders. Although prolonged homelessness experience in shelters may be a stressful occurrence, might also be related with spiritual growth among adolescents, and may work as a protective factor against suicidal ideations and attempts.