Psychological and Behavioral Issues Healthcare Providers Need to Know when Treating Patients Following a Radiation Event [open pdf - 103KB]
"An attack using radiation will create uncertainty, fear, and terror. Following the detonation of a Radiation Dispersal Device (RDD) the management of acute psychological and behavioral responses will be as important as the treatment of RDD-related injuries and illnesses. Radiation is a dreaded threat, usually seen as catastrophic and fatal. Radiation is invisible, odorless and unknown. These ingredients stimulate worst-case fantasies. People must rely on health care providers and scientists to determine whether or not a person has been contaminated. Radiation exposure may not be manifest immediately. The health effects of radiation can be delayed in time, not only affecting those exposed but also future generations. Those who have been exposed or anticipate possible exposure feel a sense of vulnerability, anxiety, and a lack of control. The common lack of consensus among experts can increase public fear and anger."
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: http://www.centerforthestudyoftraumaticstress.org