September 15, 2022

Impact of terrorism on mental health

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Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. The World Health Organization defines mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Although most people in the general population with behavioral conditions stemming from a terrorist event can be expected to recover suddenly within several months. Other individuals are at increased risk of developing more unbearable mental health conditions that have been associated with post-terrorist attacks and disaster environments.

Behavioral disturbance is the primary objective of terrorism.Mental health consequences of terrorism run along a range of general unease, fear and anxiety to more formally defined psychiatric disease such as panic disorder, acute stress disorder (ASD), anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mood disorders such as major depression.

Acts of terrorism occur in nearly all countries. Terrorism is a strategy used by individuals and groups to change communities, nations, politics or policies. Terrorist attacks expose people to violence, threats and traumatic events. Individuals may be directly or indirectly exposed to terror attacks. Acts of terrorism aims at leaving the community exposed, fearful and vulnerable.

Terrorism is an ultimate psychological warfare, overcoming it involves understanding its impact on the mental health of individuals and communities. We must further consider the unique harm bioterrorism may inflict, not only after but also before a possible attack. Policies must be created and implemented that will systematize the manner in which psychological considerations are brought to the discussion and planning for terrorism preparedness and response.