How Terrorism involves a bigger Psychological than simply Physical damage?

Terrorism erodes the sense of security and safety people usually feel. This erosion of security is at both the individual level and the community level. Terrorism challenges the natural need of human beings to see the world as predictable, orderly, and controllable. Research has shown that deliberate violence creates longer lasting mental health effects than natural disasters or accidents. The consequences for both individuals and the community are prolonged, and survivors often feel that injustice has been done to them. This can lead to anger, frustration, helplessness, fear, and a desire for revenge. Studies have shown that acting on this anger and desire for revenge can increase rather than decrease feelings of anger, guilt, and distress.

However, the mechanisms for natural recovery from traumatic events are strong. Many trauma experts agree that the psychological outcome of communities as a whole will be resilience, not psychopathology. For most, symptoms of fear, anxiety, re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal, if present, will gradually decrease over time.

Research has shown that those who are most at risk for more severe traumatic stress reactions such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are those who have experienced the greatest magnitude of exposure to the traumatic event, such as victims and their families. However, sometimes rescue workers also have direct relationships with or indirect exposure to those who are missing or killed. Therefore, these rescue workers need to cope with their own losses as well as with the demands of the rescue mission. In the case of September 11th, for example, a particularly difficult task for these rescue workers was the identification and removal of the casualties. These activities have been shown to be particularly traumatic and associated with higher rates of PTSD.

Jessica Hamblen, PhD and Laurie B. Slone, PhD, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

RAUL VILLAMARIN RODRIGUEZ

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Co-Founder/ Co- CEO

IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute

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