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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Post flooding trauma investigated
Weir Park mobile home park in Evesham
The floods caused widespread damage
People hit by the recent floods may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychologist has said.

Dr Alan Jones, a senior lecturer at the University of Worcester, is contacting 1,000 households hit by flooding in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

He said many people may unknowingly be demonstrating symptoms of the mental condition and need treatment.

Hundreds of people were stranded and thousands of homes and properties were damaged during the summer floods.

Dr Jones said similar studies following floods elsewhere in the world had found evidence of the disorder.

Flashbacks or nightmares

He added: "Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder which can result from a traumatic experience such as the recent flood disaster.

"These people need to be detected so they can be treated because this is a potentially chronic condition."

He said that the condition had a number of symptoms.

These included re-experiencing the flooding through flashbacks or nightmares, avoiding thoughts or places which remind people of the floods, and high anxiety or hyper-vigilance towards the threat of flooding.

He said there was a good record of treating people with the disorder through psychotherapy.

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