Resilience and vulnerability in coping with stress and terrorism

Authored by: Zvi Zemishlany

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Resilience

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138954878
eBook ISBN: 9781315666716
Adobe ISBN: 9781317355946


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The world-wide increase in terrorist activities poses new challenges to health professionals, clinicians and policy makers who need to confront the impact of terror-related trauma on individuals and communities. Many communities across the world are chronically exposed to extreme violence. Exposure to a potentially traumatic event, like a terror attack, disrupts the homeostatic state, triggering a series of responses intended to enable the organism to adjust to the altered condition. These responses are generally adaptive in the short run but can lead to a state of chronic dysregulation and psycho-physiologic imbalance. Studies of the impact of war, political violence and terrorism around the world have revealed a range of detrimental mental consequences, including heightened anxiety and depression; reduced sense of safety; increased use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs and psychotropic medications; and post-traumatic stress symptoms. On the community level, the resulting damage to the community infrastructure has an impact on the economy, displaces populations and lowers community morale and well-being.

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