City of Ansan in state of shockUpdated: 2014-04-21 14:02:07 (KST)
The entire city of Ansan is deep in sorrow.
It has been a heart-wrenching time for everyone, even for those who were not directly affected by the disaster.
"I see the same news every day. The media are all covering the story 24 hours a day now. And all of the mothers are crying watching it."
Many have complained of sleep disturbances at night and poor concentration during the day.
"All of the residents here are depressed and saddened by the accident. We are also angry, thinking about why this happened in the first place"
The entire city is prone to post-traumatic stress disorder, which often occurs after a person has gone through an overwhelming life experience such as this.
Back in 2001, after the terrorist attack in New York on 9/11, some 532,000 people were said to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which made it hard for them to go through their lives while feeling a sense of normalcy for the next month or more.
Even an indirect experience through TV or the internet can have a similar impact and produce stress.
It's not only the survivors and the families of the missing who are at risk for PTSD, it's also witnesses and rescue operators.
But it's the students and teachers from Danwon High School who are assumed to be suffering the most.
"They can suffer from insomnia, nightmares and flashbacks of past traumatic events. In extreme cases, they can have hard time adapting to their social life and in extreme cases it can even lead to suicide."
Symptoms of PTSD can even show up years after an accident, so it is important to keep an eye on anyone with the condition.
Experts recommend that people suffering from PTSD see a doctor if they have distressing dreams or a sensitive reaction to their surroundings.
In addition, they advise parents and adults to talk with young children and teenagers about the news and limit their exposure.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.