Watching Trauma on Television May Traumatise You and Induce PTSD

By Melissa HealyDecember 9, 2013, 4:35 p.m.

Post-traumatic stress disorder has been on psychiatry’s books for just 23 years, and before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, no one ever entertained the possibility that watching disturbing images of trauma on TV could give rise to the disorder.

The notion remains controversial, but new research suggests that PTSD might indeed be transmitted over the airwaves. The study finds that those who spent more than six hours a day watching media coverage of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath suffered more powerful stress reactions than did people who were directly involved but watched less news coverage of the events.

The study was published Monday in the journal PNAS.,0,5260119.story#ixzz2n4vlwVrN


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