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Elisha Bespalov
Elisha Bespalov

Terrorists, Victims And Society: Psychological ... !!EXCLUSIVE!!


The few psychological analyses that have been carried out on this subject have found that Middle Eastern suicide terrorists are rarely the wild-eyed crazies caricatured in the Western media. Rather, these are typically young men in their late teens and early 20s who have been generally well-behaved youth in their communities, good students, and regarded as helpful and generous. They come from relatively stable, religious homes, often with large extended families. But like many terrorists, at least part of their decision to sacrifice themselves comes from the rage and resentment at what they perceive to be an endless onslaught of unjust persecutions and humiliations at the hands of the out-group (Silke, 2003b). Thus, it is not depression and despair that fuels their self-sacrificialimpulse but the assertive, energetic desire to fuse themselves with something greater and stronger, to become one with an eternal and omnipotent vindicating force.




Terrorists, Victims and Society: Psychological ...



Silke, A. (2003b). The psychology of suicidal terrorism. In A. Silke (Ed.), Terrorists, victims and society: Psychological perspectives on terrorism and its consequences (pp. 93-108). Chichester, UK: Wiley.


Three major terrorist attacks in France in 18 months and the psychological effects of these ongoing assaults against French society are mounting. While the most impacting effects of terrorist attacks are the immediate victims who lay lifeless as a result of bomb blasts, gunfire, or, as we just witnessed during Frances beloved Bastille day celebrations in Nice, a truck as it was driven into crowds of people along the Promenade des Anglais. The other victims are those who sustain injuries but also those who go home at the end of the night, taking away visions of violence and lethality, lasting memories that can have a destructive impact on people, communities, and societies for years and decades after such an event.


The psychological characteristics of the resident physicians according to the type of exposure are reported in Table 4. The largest HADS and IES-R scores were from those residents who witnessed the attacks or had a close relative among the victims, but they were also from the first responders who took care of the patients at the site of the massacre.


We documented substantial psychological symptoms among Parisian resident physicians two months after the Paris terrorist attacks. We found that 18.5% of the exposed residents, either those at the scene of the attacks or those caring for the victims, reported symptoms consistent with current PTSD. The most common symptoms were intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares. Comparatively, in a 2015 systematic review Wilson et al. [23] reported that following man-made mass violence 1.3 to 22.0% of first responders presented with probable PTSD. A meta-analysis by Sterud et al. [24] found that the prevalence of PTSD among emergency personnel in Western European countries ranged from 15 to 21.5%. Our results are within the higher end of this range. However, the IES-R cut-off value used by Sterud et al. was lower than ours (20 compared to 33), we chose this cut-off in order to have a higher specificity. Another systematic review found that the prevalence of PTSD in rescue workers worldwide is approximately 10% [25]. In our study, exposed residents were significantly more likely to report symptoms consistent with current PTSD than non-exposed residents (18.5% versus 9.5%), highlighting the psychological impact of being confronted by disaster. In comparison, the prevalence of PTSD in the general population of Western Europe is estimated to be 1.1% [26]. To the best of our knowledge there are no studies on the prevalence of PTSD among the general population of France following the 2015 terrorist attacks with which to compare our results. A study conducted in the United States, one to two months following the events of September 11, found a prevalence of probable PTSD of 11.2% among the general population in the New York City metropolitan area and 4.0% in the rest of the country.


The increasing waves of civilian attacks since the 1980s have drawn urgent attention to the need for structured psychological care for victims [28, 29]. Furthermore, the incidence of PTSD has been reported to be higher for survivors of terrorist attacks than for survivors of other traumatic situations such as motor vehicle accidents or natural disasters [30]. Inter-personal traumas are more likely to cause PTSD than indirect traumas [3]. Among inter-personal traumas, inter-personal violence is most likely to cause PTSD (20.9%) in both victims and relatives [31, 32]. 041b061a72


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