Distressing Dispatches: Some journalists feel stress wounds of war | Science News

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Distressing Dispatches: Some journalists feel stress wounds of war

11:00am, September 11, 2002

War reporters and photographers risk their lives in horrifying situations to relay news of violent conflicts. Most remain emotionally balanced while covering one bloody struggle after another, but a substantial and largely unnoticed minority develops symptoms of a severe stress reaction as a result of the job, a new study finds.

About one-quarter of war journalists experience this condition, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), estimates psychiatrist Anthony Feinstein of the University of Toronto. In most cases, symptoms of the ailment, including unwanted memories of violent events, startle reactions to sudden noises, and troubled relationships, first appear after a person launches a career in war coverage, Feinstein and his colleagues report in the September American Journal of Psychiatry. War journalists also suffer more than their share of major depression.

"If our results are replicated, they should alert news organizations that significant psych

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