World Violence and Terror Attacks

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The recent waves of renewed world violence and terror attacks have shocked the world. As the pressure grows and tensions escalate, the impact of these events reaches far beyond the people directly involved. The impact can be felt by those of us who know and love the cities and countries that are under attack, who have connections with the victims and other people who are affected and by all of us who bear witness through for instance media exposure.

Such traumatic events affect our hearts and minds.

In our hearts we may experience emotions such as grief, confusion, fear, anger, love and hate. These emotions can be intense and at times overwhelming. In our hearts and minds we seek to make sense and give meaning those extraordinary events which should not belong in our day to day lives and are unanticipated.

How we cope with these extreme events will depend on many factors such as life experience, personal circumstances, and culture, personality and life skills. It is common and normal for people to become temporarily symptomatic as they come to terms with the impact of trauma.

The experience may be overwhelming and day to day functioning may be affected.

We may struggle to control our emotions or have difficulty concentrating and thinking. We may experience physical symptoms such as sleep disruption and physical aches We may be tempted to (over) use alcohol or drugs to quiet our minds and dull the pain.

Some people experience recurring and unbidden images of the event or a temporary crisis as they seek meaning and purpose in the face of events that have shocked their philosophy and purpose.

These are common and normal reactions to uncommon and extreme events.

The members of EAEF are specialized in providing human support and trauma intervention to individuals and organizations. Employers who would like to provide their employees with support, need help to restore normal functioning or need to address tensions in the workplace, can contact the EAEF coordinator Luci Ribeiro ( lucilia.ribeiro@eaef.org) for referral to an Employee Assistance Program provider in their country.