香山リカのココロの万華鏡:やさしさと心の病 /東京

(Mainichi Japan) July 24, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The effects of disaster on the kindest among us
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:やさしさと心の病 /東京

It has now been more than four months since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 震災から4カ月以上がたった。

At my clinic in the Tokyo area, I have had a number of patients come to me with a condition called "sympathy fatigue," brought on essentially by feeling too much, too long for the people in the disaster areas.
 首都圏にある私の勤務先の診療所では、被災地の方々に心を寄せすぎて、自分も傷ついてしまう「共感疲労」と呼ばれる状態に陥り、

Symptoms I have observed many times include insomnia, depression, feelings of helplessness, and feeling physically drained.
不眠、気持ちの落ち込み、無力感、からだのだるさなどに苦しむ人が多く目についた。

What is to become of these people?
その人たちは、いまはどうなっているのか。

Most of us, while mindful of conditions in the disaster-ravaged northeast, continue to live our lives as normal.  ほとんどの人は、被災地のことを気にかけながらも、いつもの自分の生活を送っている。

There are also probably many of us who have come to feel thankful for the lives we have and appreciate the importance of each day because of March 11.
「こうやってふつうに暮らせるだけでありがたい」と、これまで以上にあたりまえの日々の大切さをかみしめている人も少なくない。

However, there are also those among us who have been filled these past months with pain and sorrow over the earthquake and tsunami.
 ただ、一方で悲しみや心の痛みが長引いている人もいる。

Even now just seeing disaster-related news can drive some people to cry so hard they can't move, and drain them of any ambition for family or work.
いまだに震災関連のニュースを見ると涙があふれて動けない、仕事や家庭生活への意欲がわかない、という人たちは、

These people, who are not in fact direct victims of the catastrophe, have nonetheless been traumatized to such a degree they could even be developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
直接、被災はしていないものの、心のトラウマ後遺症つまりPTSDに移行しかけているのかもしれない。

PTSD is typically thought to emerge in people with direct experience of a terrible disaster, crime or warfare. これまでPTSDは直接、災害や犯罪を体験した人だけがなると考えられてきたが、

However, with the earthquake and tsunami on every TV screen, it is possible that PTSD could develop even in people not directly affected.
今回の震災では、テレビなどであの映像に触れた人にも起きる可能性がある。

The scope of the disaster was enormous, as was the flood of news and images about it.
災害の規模が大きく、映像や情報の量も多かったということだ。

For those so deeply affected, I provide directions for ways to relax and prescribe anti-anxiety medication as necessary.
 そういう人には必要に応じて緊張を解くリラクゼーション法を指導したり、不安を抑える薬を使ったりもするが、

But I also tell them very earnestly, "You, who feels so much for a disaster zone so far away, are a truly kind and sensitive person."
私はしみじみこう言ってしまう。「遠く離れた被災地のためにそこまで心を痛めているあなたは、本当に心が繊細でやさしいんですね」

I mean this absolutely.
 これは私の本音だ。

In this day and age when anyone could say they have only enough energy to think about their own problems, it's amazing that there remain people who can show so much compassion and sorrow over someone they've never even met, sharing their tears and their pain.
誰もが「自分のことだけで精いっぱい」となりがちな今、自分のことでなく、会ったこともない人の悲しみに心を寄り添わせ、いっしょに泣いたり傷ついたりし続けている人たちがいる。

Of course, those who show signs of PTSD should be treated, but I also think that such kindness and empathy should be treasured.
もちろん、その人たちのPTSDは治すべき“心の病”かもしれないが、私にはそのやさしさは貴重なものにも思えるのだ。

One visitor to my office told me, "After the disaster, I thought I would do anything for the victims; I would give any amount if it helped.
 別の人は、診察室でこう言った。「震災直後、私は被災者のために何でもしよう、いくらでも寄付しよう、と思いました。

But, after a while, I forgot that feeling, and went back to my "me-first" everyday existence.
でも、いつのまにかそんなことも忘れて、自分優先の毎日です。

I feel truly terrible about myself when I think about that."
ひどい自己嫌悪を感じます」。

I told the patient, "It's okay as long as you can just feel sympathy.
この人にも、「そう思える気持ちがあるだけで十分。

There's no reason to suffer yourself, so it's best to put what's going on in your own life first."
苦しむ必要はないので、まずは自分の生活を」と声をかけた。

It seems strange to me that those who can quickly switch back to thinking about themselves are happy and doing well, while those who feel the most for the disaster victims must end up overcome by sadness and pain.
 いち早く「自分が大切」と気持ちを切り替えた人は元気で、「被災地のために」と考え続けている人が、傷ついたり落ち込んだりしなくてはならない。

Shouldn't these people, whose kindness and generosity lend support to the disaster areas, be supported in turn? That sounds about right to me.
考えてみれば、これはちょっとおかしな話だ。この人たちのやさしさが、被災地を支え、そして自分を支えられるようになればいいのに、と思う。

毎日新聞 2011年7月19日 地方版
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-07-25 06:56 | 英字新聞

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