Observing fear in others may cause PTSD

Observing fear in others may cause PTSD

Weeklyvoice

If you happen to witness fear and trauma in the life of your loved ones or even strangers, chances are that a change may occur in the information flow in your brain and lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers have said.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop in some people after they experience a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

However, it does not stop at direct victims of illness, injury, or a terrorist attack, the researchers said.

“It can also affect their loved ones, caregivers, even bystanders — the people who witness or learn about others’ suffering,” said lead author Alexei Morozov, Assistant Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Roanoke, US. 

The findings showed that prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain responsible for empathising and understanding the mental state of others — physically changes after witnessing fear in another.

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