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Research shows a significant impact of terrorism on the French psyche


Exactly three years after the terrorist attacks in several parts of Paris, the first findings of the study were published that examined the effects of this disaster and other similar disasters on the French psyche. The authors of the large scale research also highlight the issues that mediatization can cause uninterrupted observers. A quarter of respondents said the assassination was too great, AFP said.

The "unprecedented" research, which will continue, is sponsored by the National Public Health Agency of France. The project was named "November 13", according to the Parisian attacks, in which 130 people died in 2015. It also responds to other terrorist acts.

In assessing the psychological and sociological consequences, the population is divided into different groups. The circle of the most affected people includes direct participants as injured or hostages, immediate witnesses and close victims. The researchers interviewed during the six to 18 months of the tragedy of 190 civilians in this group, 18 percent found posttraumatic stress disorder and 20 percent more problems with depression or anxiety.

However, the November 2015 assassinations had a notable impact on people outside the "first circle". In the days immediately following the assassination, the region of Paris recorded a record number of people in the alert, most often diagnosed with post-traumatic stress or acute stress response. To a lesser extent, this wave has appeared on the rest of French territory.

"There were post-traumatic symptoms in people who were not directly exposed to the events and were not known to have been assassinated," said one of the authors of the Enguerrando du Roscoata study quoted by the franceinfo television website. The number and intensity of these symptoms increased significantly, depending on when the individual was exposed to images of attacks in the media, he added.

According to the AFP, almost all respondents in the study, seven months after November 2015, have recalled the circumstances they learned about the attacks on the Stade de France stadium and the businesses in Saint-Denis and central Paris. Three quarters of the respondents talked about the need to continue talking about assassinations, but according to the last quarter, they talk too much about events.

Franceinfo notes that reporting on terrorist attacks often traumatizes people who have an a priori weakened psychic. French scientists want to continue studying how post-traumatic disorders have affected everyday life. "These are people who are at risk of social exclusion, problems going to work or stopping leisure activities," said du Roscoat.

Research shows a significant impact of terrorism on the French psyche

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