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Acts of Terror Fused with Acute and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders

NCJ Number
Journal of Counterrorism & Homeland Security Int'l Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: 2002 Pages: 32-33
Bob Lichtman Ph.D.
Date Published
2 pages
This article examines how recent acts of terror from within the United States have left civilians vulnerable to acute and post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).
In the past, the treatment of acute and post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) had been limited to those victims of trauma imposed by warfare in other countries. However, these disorders have appeared in the United States due to the terrorist attack of September 11. This article examines the impact of terrorism on an individual’s psyche, as well as the terrorist’s intent to psychologically destroy a civilian’s confidence and security in their nation. The article explores the development of PTSD and how the events of September 11 produced a response known as Critical Incident Stress or CIS, a sense of once being an indestructible nation was now shattered. Symptoms associated with acute stress disorder(ASD) or PTSD that include symptoms such as re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance of thoughts and feelings related to the event, and dissociative symptoms were presented along with a discussion on the theories such as Threshold Models, Diathesis Models, and Illness Models addressing the causes of ASD and PTSD. An outline provides a number of tools available for the treatment of ASD and PTSD knowing that each person experiences the traumatic event differently. A terrorist attack creating enormous disaster with the potential for future attacks leaves individuals psychologically ill-prepared; the intent of the terrorists.