A trauma expert estimates: tens of thousands will be defined as post-traumatic after the war
The disturbing data revealed by the Knesset’s health committee, according to which some of the survivors of the party in Barai were forcibly hospitalized, continue to cause a stir and the question – what will happen to these young people in a few years. Prof. Yair Bar-Haimhead of the National Center for Trauma and Resilience at Tel Aviv University, referred to these data alongside the lack of therapists in the field of mental health, and explained in a conversation with Maariv: “Many traumatic events occur in the State of Israel, when there are certain ‘peaks’, such as the Iron Swords War, when civilians and many of the security forces We were exposed to very harsh sights during the treatment at the party and after it.”According to him, the special thing about the event of the party is its significant intensity – due to the extent of the damage and the level of cruelty. “The thing that caught the eye of many of us is the large number of survivors – who came to celebrate and enjoy the party, and they just opened fire on them,” he noted. “A number of cases have been recorded around the world that can slightly resemble the massacre at the party, such as the massacre at the Bataclan in Paris in 2015, and the massacre on the Las Vegas Strip in 2017 – therefore, I think that the thing that makes the event so different compared to other events that we have experienced in the country, is the level of surprise and scope the victims”.

“In any case, even individual people who witness terrorist attacks, security escalations or serious traffic accidents face a similar situation,” he emphasized. “The vast majority of them, at least 80 percent of them, will experience difficult symptoms of post-traumatic stress in the hours, days, and even the first month or two after the event, but in the end, most of them manage to reorganize their lives and stop experiencing these symptoms, without the need for treatment. It is true that in some cases Therapeutic intervention can reduce the chance of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, but if it is not professional, it can only increase the chance of it. In general, it is not always worthwhile to interfere with the natural recovery processes.”

In the meantime, about a month and a half has already passed.

“True, and usually, those who at this stage still experience these symptoms are defined as post-traumatic – it is a bit difficult to estimate what percentage of the participants this is, but it is likely that it is about ten percent of them. Alongside them, there are many who fight inside the strip and encounter difficult situations, and ten to five Ten percent of them – will have difficulty overcoming and will need treatment.”

Can it be estimated how many Israelis will be defined as post-traumatic after the war?

“The most conservative estimate speaks of about 30,000 Israelis, but the number is expected to be much larger. One of the most significant problems now is that there are not enough professionals at all, and professionals who are qualified to deal with such problems – neither in the private field nor in the public field – who can answer so many additional patients. For this reason, we are expected to face a prolonged struggle in the next ten or even 20 years, but we have the strength to try and deal with the difficult situation. For example, we decided on an early opening of the National Center for Trauma and Resilience at the university because of the situation – it will open on January 1, when In practice, it was only supposed to open in about two years, this is in an attempt to provide an answer to some of the cases, when this is supposed to be the largest clinic in Israel that specializes only in post-trauma and has a lot of experience, but it will only be able to treat a small part of the contestants.”

In conclusion, the professor said that “there are many good people with great motivation and now we must do our best – including developing new treatments, perhaps also technological ones. It is also important to remember that alongside the tens of thousands of Israelis who will be defined as post-traumatic, there are also their family members and friends who will sometimes need treatment and assistance , and that’s without looking at issues such as the ability of survivors suffering from post-traumatic stress to integrate into the labor market. Even if large budgets are allocated, it will take years to reduce the shortage of manpower.”

By Editor

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