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Awareness of PTSD Following the Boston Marathon

In the wake of the horrific bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon, alarming footage and grim images have been posted across the Internet and broadcasted on every news channel so that we Bostonians are reliving the horrific moments each time we turn our televisions.

The bravery of the first responders present on the scene cannot be denied, along with the compassionate runners who detoured their route to donate blood at MGH and the soldiers who dove into action at the finish line.

But concern should be held in the potential of many of these people developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), along with the hundreds of witnesses in the crowds and the newsmen capturing footage behind camera.

Reportingonhealth.org, an online community based at University of Southern California, reposted a piece originally written in 2011 addressing the post-traumatic effects experienced by journalists covering tragedies, both locally and in combat.

Stress disorders, including PTSD, occur in response to a traumatic event, and although they only affect 1/3 of those exposed to a traumatic event, awareness during this time of recovery is essential.

Acute stress disorder may be the most commonly seen in the aftermath of the marathon, where symptoms occur immediately following the traumatic event and last up to 1 month.

Familiarity should be taken with the symptoms of PTSD, which continue after 1 month of a traumatic event.

These symptoms are commonly grouped into three categories: re-experiencing the traumatic event (in the form of nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts), avoidance (particularly of places or people that are affiliated with the event) and increased arousal (e.g. irritability, being easily startled or having difficulty sleeping).

Posted by on April 18, 2013. Filed under Around the Hub. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Awareness of PTSD Following the Boston Marathon

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