Holocaust memories still haunt survivors

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Washington, Sept 21 (ANI): Decades of research has indicated that survivors of mass genocide like the Holocaust still haunts its victims, manifesting itself in the form of various psychiatric symptoms.

"What we've found is that they have the ability to overcome their traumatic experiences and even to flourish and gain psychological growth, but it may not be as easy as it seems," said Efrat Barel at the Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel in Israel.

The team found that Holocaust survivors had poorer psychological well-being, more post-traumatic stress symptoms and more psychopathological symptoms.

Survivors who lived in Israel showed better psychological well-being and social adjustment than survivors who lived in other countries. And there were no significant differences in cognitive functioning or physical health.

"It's possible these survivors repressed a lot of these traumatic memories in the immediate aftermath of the war and instead focused on rebuilding their lives and raising new families," said Abraham Sagi-Schwartz at Haifa University, Israel.

The team also highlighted that the research is particularly important for those survivors who were children back then.

"As they approach old age, they face new challenges, including retirement, declining health and losing a spouse, and this may reactivate their extreme early stresses," said Marinus Van IJzendoorn of Leiden University in the Netherlands.

The studies chosen for this analysis focused on Holocaust survivors of Jewish ancestry. Their findings are reported in Psychological Bulletin, which is published by the American Psychological Association. (ANI)

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