Lara Logan, a broadcast journalist who was sexually attacked while covering the civilian uprising in Cairo, Egypt, revealed that she is now suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The 40-year-old CBS reporter was attacked in midday by a crazed mob of more than 200 men in Tahrir Square last February as she was preparing to broadcast a report about the celebrations marking the end of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's reign.
In her first interview about the assault last April, Logan explained how an angry mob tore her away from her crew, ripped her clothes off and sexually assaulted her for nearly half an hour. She feared for her life and was certain death was imminent.
She was rescued by a group of Egyptian women who witnessed the attack and created a circle around her until soldiers could be summoned. Escorted to her hotel, she was then examined and given medical aid. She returned to the United States the next day and spent four days in a hospital recovering from the brutal attack.
Reporter Still Traumatized a Year After the Incident
Haunted by the experience nearly a full year later, she recently disclosed to the New York Daily News that she now struggles with PTSD, experiencing nightmares and random flashbacks.
A mother of two young girls, Logan explained that the flashbacks of the traumatic experience occur often and unexpectedly, such as when she is putting her infant child to sleep in the evenings. A native of South Africa, she expressed a longing to be rid of the disorder, attempting to forge ahead and focus on positive elements of her life to help her overcome. Family support, especially from her husband, Joe Burkett, a federal defense contractor, has also provided her with tremendous support to deal with the emotional aftermath of the attack, she said.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after an individual has witnessed or experienced a traumatic, life-threatening event. The condition can develop when one feels jeopardized, even if the ultimate outcome does not result in injury or death. Natural and man-made disasters, wars, accidents, violent attacks, physical and sexual abuse, and kidnapping are examples of events that may lead to the development of PTSD.
PTSD Affects Her Life 24/7
In addition to flashbacks and nightmares, symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, anger, social detachment and isolation, hyper-vigilance, and a lack of interest in routine activities. Many experience physical manifestations as well, such as sweating and a rapid, racing heart, when reminded of the event.
The disorder can appear immediately or at any time after the trauma, and some people never develop the condition despite exposure to harrowing events. Researchers continue exploring possible risk factors that make certain individuals more prone to developing the condition after a trauma than others.
Treatment for PTSD generally involves a form of psychotherapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Trained therapists engage patients in specific steps aimed at actively exploring related thoughts and feelings. Therapy may be conducted individually or as a group, and has been shown to be effective for various mood disorders. Medications may also be prescribed, and researchers continue to explore innovative treatments, such as using medical cannabis, to address the growing number of PTSD cases.
Date of original publication: April 02, 2013.
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