Reactions to Terror Attacks in Ultra-Orthodox Jews: The Cost of Maintaining Strict Identity.

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    • Abstract:
      Traumatic events can shatter faith and beliefs. The responses of Ultra-Orthodox survivors of deadly terrorist attacks illustrate an effort to reconcile dreadful experiences with deeply embedded beliefs. Qualified clinicians prospectively evaluated self-reported and interviewer-generated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and cognitive appraisal in Ultra-Orthodox (n = 20) and non-Ultra-Orthodox (n = 33) survivors of suicide bus-bombing incidents in Jerusalem. Ultra-Orthodox survivors reported higher levels of PTSD symptoms and more personal guilt. Their narratives reflected an unshaken belief in Just Providence, within which being a victim of terror was perceived as a Just retribution for known or unknown wrongdoing. Survivors' reactions to trauma often reflect an effort to reconcile incongruous experiences with previously held beliefs. When treating strict believers, helpers should be sensitive to the identity-preserving function of posttraumatic cognitions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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