Some 8,000 Israelis Developed PTSD From Current Wave of Terrorism

Of 8,000 people believed to have developed post-traumatic stress disorder due to the current wave of terrorist attacks, 1,500 live in the capital, according to a study to be presented on Monday to the Israel Trauma Coalition conference in Ashkelon.

An estimated 87 percent of them will recover quickly if given immediate treatment, according to PTSD experts.

So far, eight of the 25 Israelis killed and 60 of those who were physically wounded by terrorists since late September were in Jerusalem when they were attacked.

With the sense that the attacks’ locations are random, many in the city have begun carrying pepper spray and other objects to protect themselves. Monday’s stabbing on Hatzvi Street near the capital’s central bus station, in which one person was lightly wounded and sent home, was the eighth stabbing attack within three blocks of The Jerusalem Post office on Jaffa Road in three months.

Another statistic to be unveiled at the conference is that for every person who is killed or physically wounded, another 27 suffer psychological trauma and anxiety that require treatment. In addition to trauma from being present at or nearby an attack, many adults and children are being traumatized by watching the events on television.

The Israel Trauma Coalition is convening the conference at Ashkelon Academic College to examine the effects of last year’s Operation Protective Edge and “terror tunnels” in Gaza, as well as terrorist attacks on the civilian population.

The conference will focus on how to treat anxiety and how to help emergency forces overcome trauma; how to rehabilitate entire communities in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge; and how to help patients with PTSD following terrorist attacks and natural disasters throughout the world, such as the events in Paris and the disasters in Haiti and the Philippines.

The organizations on the ITC executive committee include the Hadassah Medical Organization, Mahut, CSPC, Natal, SELA, Amcha and ERAN.

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