preview

terrorism

opinionated Essay
1338 words
1338 words
bookmark

Effects of Terrorism

Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
--FBI Definition

On Tuesday September 11th, 2001 our Nation was forever changed. Following the single largest terrorist attack ever experienced by this country, thousands are dead or missing, tens of thousands of people in this country know someone who was killed or injured, and many more have witnessed or heard about the attack through the media. The impact of this magnitude of terrorist attack will affect people at all levels of involvement: victims, bereaved family members, friends, rescue workers, emergency medical and mental health care providers, witnesses to the event, volunteers, members of the media, the United States of America, and the entire World.

Terrorism takes away a sense of security and safety at both the individual and community level, which effects society. It can challenge the natural need of humans for this world to be predictable, orderly and controllable. Studies have shown that deliberate violence creates longer lasting mental health effects than natural disasters or accidents.1

1 Scott, R., Brooks, N. & McKinlay, W. (1995). Post-traumatic morbidity in a civilian community: A follow-up at 3 years. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 8, p. 412.

Consequences both for individuals and the community are prolonged, and survivors often feel that injustice has been done to them. This can lead to prejudice, anger, frustration, helplessness, fear, and a strong desire for revenge.

Acting on these feelings and need for revenge can increase feelings of anger and guilt, rather than decreasing them. Society’s ability to naturally recover from traumatic events are strong.2 For people directly involved, fear, anxiety, re-experiencing, and urges to avoid, will gradually decrease over time. Research has shown that those who are most at risk for more severe traumatic stress reactions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are those who have experienced the greatest magnitude of exposure to the traumatic event, such as victims and their families.3 Many surviving rescue workers will also have direct relationships, or indirect exposure to those who are missing or killed, and will therefore be coping with ...

... middle of paper ...

...th chemical or biological agents: psychiatric aspects. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156.

North, C., Nixon S., Shariat, S., Mallonee, S., McMillen, J., Spitzanagel, E., & Smith, E. (1999). Psychiatric disorders among survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing. Journal of the American Medical Association, 282.

Pfefferbaum, B., Nixon, S., Tucker, P., Tivis,R., Moore, V., Gurwitch, R., Pynoos, R., & Geis, H. (1999). Posttraumatic stress responses in bereaved children after the Oklahoma City bombing. Journal of the American Academy Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38.

Pfefferbaum, B., Gurwitch, R., McDonald, N., Leftwih, M.,Sconzo, G., Messenbaugh, A., Schultz, R. (2000). Posttraumatic stress among children after the death of a friend or acquaintance in a terrorist bombing. Psychiatric Services, 51.

Smith, D., Christiansen, E., Vincent, R., & Hann, N. (1999). Population effects of the bombing of Oklahoma City. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, 92.

Tucker, P., Dickson, W., Pfefferbaum, B., McDonald, N., & Allen, G. (1997). Traumatic reactions as predictors of posttraumatic stress six months after the Oklahoma City bombing. Psychiatric Services, 48.

In this essay, the author

  • Defines terror as the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
  • Opines that the single largest terrorist attack ever experienced by this country will affect people at all levels of involvement: victims, bereaved family members, friends, rescue workers, emergency medical and mental health care providers, witnesses, volunteers, members of the media, and the entire world.
  • Explains that almost 3/4 of a group of people seeking psychological damages after the crash of pan am flight 103 reported having ptsd.
  • Explains that deliberate violence creates longer lasting mental health effects than natural disasters or accidents.
  • Opines that mental healing occurs over time, although people most directly exposed to terrorist attacks are at a higher risk of developing ptsd.
  • Explains that half of survivors who were directly exposed to the bombing reported developing anxiety, depression, and alcohol and over a third reported ptsd.
  • Argues that the best way to reduce the risk of traumatic stress reactions on our society is to abolish trauma in the first place by preventing war, terrorism, or any other violent event.
  • Cites brooks, mckinlay, & digiovanni, c., and pfefferbaum, b.
Get Access