EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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Boston and Beyond

April 19, 2013

Anger, fear, tears normal response to disasters

BOSTON (AP) — Anger. Crying jags. Nightmares. They’re all normal reactions for survivors of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and witnesses to the mayhem.

Those psychological aftershocks are the often invisible wounds of disaster. The injured and those closest to the blasts are most affected, but even people with no physical injuries can feel the emotional impact.

Trauma specialists recommend seeking help if reactions — such as insomnia, fear or difficulty focusing — impair function or don’t fade in about a month.

They say most people will get better with time. Some may suffer lingering anxiety or depression, but only a small number are expected to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Those most at risk for continued problems are those who’ve previously been exposed to trauma.

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