Sun, Jul 07, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Train stabbing has PTSD risk: psychiatrist

TAIPEI 101 SALUTE:The landmark hailed the ‘love for this land’ of police officer Lee Cheng-han and Kids’ Bookstore founder Chen Chun-lang, who died on Thursday

By Wang Shan-yan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chiayi City-based psychiatrist Lin Hung (林宏) warned of the dangers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the fatal stabbing of a police officer on a train traveling from Chiayi Railway Station on Wednesday.

Railway officer Lee Cheng-han (李承翰), 24, died in hospital after the attack, while a man surnamed Cheng (鄭) was detained, with prosecutors saying he faces a murder charge.

Lin, a doctor at Chiayi Christian Hospital, said people could develop PTSD after witnessing a traumatic event, with symptoms being negative behavioral, emotional, physiological and functional changes.

Insomnia, recurrent nightmares, fatigue, anxiety, fear and chronic stress that can lead to physical issues, such as aches, abdominal pain, and lack of strength are signs of PTSD, Lin said, adding that untreated acute traumatic response could worsen into chronic depression or anxiety.

People with traumatic response should focus on living day-to-day, stay away from information about disasters, find healthy channels of emotional release and seek medical help to manage their emotions to prevent PTSD, he said.

Fear, anxiety and sadness are normal feelings and people should be encouraged to talk about them with close friends and family, while refraining from finding relief in unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, binge eating or narcotics, he said.

People should seek medical help if they experience significant disruptions to daily life as a result of stress response, such as insomnia, excessive sleepiness, binge eating, loss of appetite, depression, irascibility, anxiety or inability to control thoughts wandering toward subjects connected to the traumatic event, he said.

In related news, Taipei 101 on Friday evening displayed a message to pay tribute to Lee and children’s bookstore founder Chen Chun-lang (陳俊朗).

The upper part of the building displayed a message from 6pm to 10pm that read: “Chen Chun-lang/Daddy Chen and Officer Lee Cheng-han, thank you for your love for this land.”

Chen was a long-time educator who set up nine Kids’ Bookstores in Taitung County from 1999 to offer afterschool tutoring and support to dropouts and children from disadvantaged families.

He came to be known as “Daddy Chen” by the more than 2,000 children who attended the program.

He died on Thursday at age 55.

Additional reporting by CNA

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