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16% of Jindo residents suffer PTSD after Sewol disaster

Over 360 residents of Jindo, an island off South Korea’s southwestern coast, suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after a passenger ship sank near the island in April 2014, killing nearly 300 on board, a survey showed Friday. 

A study conducted by a team led by Lee Ju-yeon, a professor of mental health at Chonnam National University, found that 362 residents, or 16 percent of the island’s entire population, complained of PTSD-related symptoms, including recurring memories of the day of the disaster, feelings of guilt and getting easily surprised. 


PTSD occurs when a person is exposed to traumatic events and typically involves symptoms such as depression, anxiety and insomnia. 

The tragedy’s impact was more prevalent among residents who volunteered at Paengmok Port where families of the victims stayed, waiting for their beloved ones to return while a rescue and search operation was being carried out. 

Some 20 percent, or 151, of the 756 volunteers surveyed showed a higher tendency to seek help from physiatrists. 

The report was based on a survey conducted on 2,298 Jindo residents, including 756 volunteer workers who stayed there between April and June 2014.

By Kim Da-sol (
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Korea Herald daum