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Arch Hellen Med, 31(4), July-August 2014, 487-495


The psychosocial implications of terrorism

K.T. Kioulos, J.D. Bergiannaki
First Department of Psychiatry, "Eginition" Hospital, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Terrorism constitutes a contemporary complex social and political phenomenon, due to both the mass, globalized dimensions it has assumed in recent years and the technological sophistication which makes possible maximization of the scale and power of terrorist acts. Fear, a fundamental element of any terrorist act, can become the object of psychiatric attention because of both its individual effects and its broader social impact. The direct and indirect effects of terrorist acts on the mental health of the victims, and the effects of terrorism as a phenomenon contributing to the shaping of social conditions are emphasized in this paper. The immediate victims of a terrorist act are at increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, panic disorder, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse. Despite the fact that terrorist attacks, along with natural or technological disasters, do not appear to cause specific mental health difficulties in the general population, the unquestionable power that the contemporary threat of terrorism exerts is likely to perpetuate fear throughout society as a whole. In this climate of fear, the ineluctable development of suspicion, intolerance and estrangement encumbers social cohesion, threatening to disrupt social bonds and give rise to alienation. On this basis, the likelihood of long-term adverse effects of terrorism on the mental health of the members of society constitutes a reasonable ground for reflection.

CONCLUSIONS Overweight/obese children showed poorer cardiovascular function and higher ratings of perceived exertion than normal-weight children, due to their poor level of physical fitness.

Key words: Mental health, Psychopathology, Psychosocial implications, Terrorism.

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