Psychological problems are expected after the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In the past American psychiatrists with experience in disaster psychiatry have offered assistance to colleagues in other countries who are dealing with a catastrophic event and it is expected that this will occur with the current incident. In the initial phase psychological first aid will be given to the survivors and then symptoms of acute stress will be addressed. Between 10-50% of those impacted can be expected to develop symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Expertise in risk communication will also be helpful in dealing with the task of informing the public. This becomes especially relevant with the threat of radiation contamination from damaged nuclear reactors.
A movie review written by the author of the recent film “The Rabbit Hole” is presented. The story deals with the responses of two parents to the death of their five year old son. The film shows realistic grieving of each parent. The issue of “complicated grieving” is explained and discussed. It is suggested that this movie should be used as a teaching tool for professional students interested in understanding the grieving process.