The greatest tribute to those who perished in France may be to find better ways to put out the fires of terrorism. Mental health professionals are trained to use words to diffuse conflict. The pen is mightier than the sword, but it can also tempt the reckless to load their weapons.
PTSD is a psychiatric illness resulting from a physical or psychological trauma that is sometimes related to warfare, but of course occurs in the case of civilian trauma as well. However, wars have been a propitious time for studying PTSD.
The bipolar diagnosis introduces some unique aspects to violence prevention and management, although the general principles are similar to those for patients with other psychiatric disorders. More in this slideshow.
People experience a spectrum of reactions as a result of epidemics, such as Ebola, and disasters, such as weather-related events. Psychiatrists can provide interventions for those who are in distress with a special focus on mitigating these disaster stress reactions.
As psychiatrists, we practice holistic medicine. Our traumatized patients depend on us to uncover their emotional pain delicately, to understand its effects on their minds and bodies, and to recognize and draw on their unique strengths and vulnerabilities as we promote recovery.