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The Lesser Known Impact of Terror Attacks

Posted by on December 19th, 2017 Posted in: Blog, Disaster, Mental Health


“Elizabeth” by Ian Espinoza via Unsplash, August 21, 2017, CCO.

Terror attacks are horrifying and produce obvious, immediate effects such as loss of human life, injury, property loss, and emotional impact.  Norwegian researches recently found that there might be a less obvious but potentially debilitating impact; migraines and/or daily headaches.

“We found that the survivors more often suffer from headaches as compared to controls, with more frequent and severe complaints such as migraine,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Synne Stensland, of the Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies in Oslo.

This study found that terror attack survivors had a higher risk three to four times that of those in a control group.  This still held true even when other factors, including past exposure to violence, were considered.

Dr. Matthew Robbins is director of inpatient services at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City. He said, “We know that a stressful life event can lead to a new headache disorder, or make an existing one even worse.”

If you experience any of the following symptoms, Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor immediately or going to an emergency room:

  • An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap
  • Headache with fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or trouble speaking
  • Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse
  • A chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
  • New headache pain if you’re older than 50

To learn more about the study, click here.

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