Acts of terror often lead to strong emotional reactions which can include disbelief, anger, fear, and sadness. These reactions create stress which can have a very profound effect on our mental and physical health.
People who have experienced the trauma often fall into the following categories:
- Survivors of past traumatic events (e.g., refugees of wars, terrorism or torture, and survivors of domestic violence, child abuse or street crime). These individuals may have a heightened sense of vulnerability.
- People who personally witnessed or were victims of the terrorist attack.
- People who experience traumatization from learning of relatives, friends and acquaintances who were subject to the violence, or from exposure to repeated media accounts of the trauma.
(From Managing Traumatic Stress: Coping with Terrorism-American Psychological Association)
If you know of a friend or loved one who has survived a past traumatic event, be aware of how that person may be reacting to this most recent terrorist attack. Check in with them regularly and support them as they deal with the barrage of information regarding the details of event.