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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.”

About the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.

He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:

Dr Dean’s bio, Twitter, Facebook and how to contact him.

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