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Some people seemingly can deal with anything. They save a stranger from bleeding out in a bombed restaurant, protect passers-by from heavily armed gunmen, pull dead and dying people out of collapsed buildings, and they keep going because it is their job. These people are first responders.

When trauma goes on for days, as it has recently in Paris, however, the odds of them bouncing back from the violence, death and injury they are witnessing rapidly diminishes. They are at greater risk of developing a severe stress reaction known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

One study found that the worldwide rate of PTSD among first responders is 10%, much higher than the 3.5% rate among those not involved in rescue work.

Read the full article at The Conversation, written by Jennifer Wild, Department of Experimental Psychology

 

Oxford is a subscribing member of The Conversation. Find out how you can write for The Conversation.

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