Terrorism threatens a society by instilling fear and helplessness in its citizens. It seeks to hold a society or government hostage by fear of destruction and harm.
When terrorist acts occur, people generally look for ways to cope with the acute stress and trauma. Terrorism evokes a fundamental fear of helplessness. The violent actions are random, unprovoked and intentional, and often are targeted at defenseless citizens. Trying to cope with the irrational information that is beyond normal comprehension can set off a chain of psychological events culminating in feelings of fear, helplessness, vulnerability and grief.
Xenophobia — fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners — can be heightened under a terrorist threat and can become a social and psychological danger. The fear generated by terrorism can be exacerbated by a population’s diversity if there is distrust between groups, categories and classification of citizens. It is important to recognize that diversity in a population can be an opportunity for unity and strength. There are members of our diverse society who have experienced past terrorist incidents. The knowledge and experience they have gained from surviving and coping with these incidents can make them a valuable resource on how to cope and how to offer assistance to others.
After a terrorist attack, many people are impacted. People who have experienced the trauma often fall into the following categories:
People who have experienced or witnessed a terrorist attack may go into a state of acute stress reaction. You may feel one or all of these symptoms:
If you are having trouble coping with the terrorist attacks, consider seeking help from a psychologist or other mental health professional. There are many ways to feel traumatized by terrorist incidents. Psychologists and other licensed mental health professionals are trained to help people cope and take positive steps toward managing their feelings and behaviors.
“My husband is devoted to his profession – he is burning in it and is giving everything to do his job in the best possible way.
It hurts when in the evening he comes back at home and I see his pain and frustration. I can feel it with every part of myself; commitment that is rewarded with disrespect and is paid with a part of himself. It hurts me because people do not know how much efforts are needed to do the work and how severe the fight is. A fight with a lack of supplies, with limited powers, with humiliation from the Ministry of Interior and the ingratitude of people.
I understand people!
They have the right to be unsatisfied, but I live with this person and can see whathe is doing each day and how big his fight is. I would like, before people start to accuse and criticize officials in the Ministry of Interior, including my husband, people to thing, what is the price which workers pay and we – the people standing right next to them. ”
“My husband was forced to learn how to cope alone with stress at the workplace. He did it, because it was the only way to protect us. He did it, because what he knows and happens to him, not only would frightened us, but terrified. Very often I feel the strain of the last day and I know that he was afraid not for himself, but for us. I realized how scared he was few weeks ago when he proposed us to enroll for a course of self-defense. I did not ask questions. I knew that the only way to make him feel comfortable and tranquil for us. ”
“I live with a man who from his an early age dreamed to be a police officer.
A man who is driven by the desire to care and help people.
Today, this young man has many years of experience in the Ministry of Interior .
Every night when I look into his eyes I see the frustration and pain.
Pain, caused by dysfunctional system.
Pain, because of incompetent leaders.
Pain, caused by another meaningless reform.
Pain from exhaustion.
Pain of frustration.
Pain caused by the unfulfilled dream to be a policeman, but the real one!
Every night I fall asleep and I hope the next day will be better.
I hope he will succeed to made his dream come true.
I hope he will be allowed to be a real policeman, and we all will be proud.”