As the Israel-Hamas conflict intensifies, concerns and anxiety have grown among many individuals. Mental health experts have indicated that the ongoing war may potentially trigger symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in some.
According to psychiatrist Jason Miller, the images and videos of the conflict currently circulating can be difficult for most people to process, but they may evoke deeper and more distressing emotions in others.
“Regrettably, I believe that a substantial number of individuals in our country, whether due to their military service, personal exposure to war-torn regions, or familial and cultural connections to Israel, may take this conflict very personally,” Dr. Miller explained.
Dr. Miller has also noted that the visual and auditory elements of this conflict could potentially trigger symptoms of PTSD in combat veterans, given that 1.9 million Americans have been deployed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. For these individuals, witnessing news coverage of another war in the Middle East can be particularly distressing.
Furthermore, Dr. Miller pointed out that the Israel-Hamas conflict might revive distressing memories for those who were forced to flee their home countries due to war or violence.
Olena Romanko, who left Ukraine last year during the outbreak of war, shared her perspective, stating that watching the conflict brings back the frightening moments when her life dramatically changed. She can empathize with the emotional turmoil the affected individuals are going through.
Dr. Miller emphasized the importance of seeking professional help and relying on one’s support system for those struggling with these triggers, as attempting to face such distressing feelings alone can exacerbate the situation. He also stressed the need for active listening during this time and encouraged people to be considerate of those around them, as the topic may bring up painful memories for many.