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Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome on a National Level

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Posted by on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 16:08
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Post-traumatic stress syndrome on a national level

A large volume of material has been written about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and the causes as it relates to individuals. At this writing nothing that this author has found addresses the affects on nations or people groups (Palestinian) who are under the continual stress of trauma for generations.

What are the social and political ramification of long term war and disaster on the psychic of whole nations?

2004 – 2010 Terrorist attacks in Pakistan 6,289 casualties 30,998
2005 Pakistan earthquake dead 73,338 injured 100,000+
2004-2009? The War in North-West Pakistan 7,598 civilians killed 3.44 million civilians displaced
2010 Pakistan Flood dead 2,000, nearly 20 million affected

1978 to present The Afghan Civil War 600,00 to 2,000,000 Casualties 5,000,000 displaced. The actors have changed but the war has been continuous.

2001 – Present Iraq Total Killed by all sides 900,338 injured by all sides 1,690,903
1990-1991 Estimated over 100,000 Iraqi Casualties
1980-1988 Estimated over 300,000 Iraqi Casualties

There are many individual responses to PTSD but this one is the most interesting on the collective level. It is also perhaps the most apparent.

Why is anger a common response to trauma?

Anger is often a large part of a survivor’s response to trauma. It is a core piece of the survival response in human beings. Anger helps us cope with life’s stresses by giving us energy to keep going in the face of trouble or blocks. Yet anger can create major problems in the personal lives of those who have experienced trauma and those who suffer from PTSD.

One way of thinking is that high levels of anger are related to a natural survival instinct. When faced with extreme threat, people often respond with anger. Anger can help a person survive by shifting his or her focus. The person focuses all of his or her attention, thought, and action toward survival.

Anger is also a common response to events that seem unfair or in which you have been made a victim. Research shows that anger can be especially common if you have been betrayed by others. This may be most often seen in cases of trauma that involve exploitation or violence.

The trauma and shock of early childhood abuse often affects how well the survivor learns to control his or her emotions. Problems in this area lead to frequent outbursts of extreme emotions, including anger and rage.


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