Boston Marathon Bombing Tragedy: PTSD Triggers from Watching the News


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Boston Marathon bombing required a biohazard team for cleanup – a traumatic situation indeed. Image by Ashstar01

Boston Marathon Chaos

There were many external triggers during the Boston bombing situation.

One bystander from Arizona described the chaos at Boston Marathon bombing to a reporter for The Daily Courier, “There’s people crying. We started seeing police frantically going everywhere. I counted over 21 ambulances lined up on this one block. ATF agents; FBI agents; agents everywhere; plain-clothes cops with badges around their necks; cops in suits; cops in uniform; you name it. Military guys running around with automatic weapons and riot gear. It looked like they were ready to go to war.

PTSD and Detachment

One of the feelings caused by trauma flashbacks is “detachment or estrangement” according to PTSD Support Services.  Another runner commented to The Daily Courier’s reporter, “Everyone’s kind of in shock about the whole thing… It’s so surreal. Unbelievable.”  That shock  is being felt by many more than those running and cheering the runners on in person are feeling that shock – and sadly, for many, it’s triggering PTSD symptoms.

If you or anyone you know are experiencing difficult symptoms at this time, please seek assistance via medical or mental health care.


PTSD Support Services. Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD. (2012). Accessed April 18, 2013.

Stockmar, S. Prescott Runner Gives Eyewitness Account of Boston Marathon Bombing. The Daily Courier. (2013). Accessed April 18, 2013.

United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation, Inc. Self Help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Accessed April 18, 2013.

Vietnam Veteran’s Association of Australia. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Accessed April 18, 2013.

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