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FEATURE/Sniper Attacks End But Psychological Message Remains, ``America Is a Dangerous Place''.

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The sniper attacks have ceased but the psychological message remains, "America is a dangerous place," according to a trauma psychologist who has been commenting on the psychological effects of the sniper shootings and other forms of terrorism since September 11th.

Los Angeles psychologist, Robert R. Butterworth, Ph.D., feels that as a society we are now more vulnerable to any form of personal or organizational violence since we have not had time, in a psychological sense, to fully recover from the events of Sept. 11 and related terrorist threats.

"It is not relevant in a psychological sense whether or not the sniper attacks are in reality connected to organized terror. Psychologically, anthrax scares, terrorism alerts, sniper shootings and threats of future terrorism are taking its toll on the psychological heath of America's psyche -- anxiety and fear is predicated on the perception of reality rather than reality itself," says Butterworth who adds, "With all the talk of terrorist actions involving everything from biological agents to future bombings, it is no wonder that the fear of the future enhances the trauma and depression resulting from past events -- we remain prone to fear and anxiety as a nation.

"Unlike past disasters, such as the bombing in Oklahoma City or mass shootings in which we had a psychological recovery period in which things settled down and had time to catch our breath and mourn as a group -- we don't have time to decompress. We're actually speeding up and getting ready for war -- we're too anxious even to be depressed," said the trauma expert.

Dr. Butterworth Ph.D., who has been commenting on the psychological effects of the sniper shootings, is available to discuss the psychological anxiety on the nation, both short and long term psychological effects both in the target community and the entire nation.

Within hours of the Sept. 11 disaster in New York, trauma psychologist and media commentator Robert R. Butterworth, Ph.D., was giving ongoing psychological commentary to a traumatized nation. Butterworth was also commenting on the psychological aspects of the sniper attacks with a team of experts from late evening to early morning Thursday on MSNBC as the suspects were arrested.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 28, 2002
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