“To provide help, we need to take greater account of the most vulnerable group’s strong psychological experiences. Those who had to run for their lives were more affected psychologically and were haunted more often by their memories. For a long time, this will affect their inner world,” Igor Knez says.
Flashbulb memories with exceptionally vivid “snapshots”
The researchers discovered that survivors developed so-called “flashbulb memories,” a phenomenon that has been observed in survivors of other disasters like 9/11 or Estonia. A flashbulb memory generates a very detailed and exceptionally vivid “snapshot” of the event.
“Detailed memories, in which you see, hear and smell the fire, become more emotional and affect the individual’s existence; you change and start to see yourself and the world in a different light after such an experience.”
“It isn’t over just because you survive”