London Bombings: Guardian Journos Disorientated

There was a contradictory and confusing article in The Guardian yesterday about the psychological after-effects on the survivors of the London bombings. We are encouraged to provide support but Dr Reddy tells us that counselling is probably not necessary as:

“…less than 5% of survivors and witnesses of the tube and bus bombings were likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

While on the other hand Dr Thompson says,

“…one would predict that 40% will find their reactions haven’t returned to normal in the next few weeks.”

In which case:

“They will probably feel anxious, depressed, suffer nightmares or flashbacks and generally be much more fearful – making it very difficult to carry on with the normal things in life.”

And the article finishes with the information that:

“Dr Stephen Joseph, reader in health psychology at the University of Warwick, sounded a positive note for the longer-term. The psychologist said between 30 and 70% of survivors of traumatic events reported positive after-effects.”

Well that’s all alright then isn’t it? I may have just witnessed a horrific bomb blast but at least there’s a fair chance that my life will improve over the long-term.
The Guardian
More on London bombings: Profile of a Terrorist, Why We Are Glued To The TV and The Psychology of Terrorism



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Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 9 July 2005

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