Third of Tokyo subway sarin attack victims likely suffered PTSD

The Japan Times/December 11, 2020

Hiroshima – One-third of victims of the March 1995 deadly sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subway system long suffered symptoms related to posttraumatic stress disorder, according to a study by Hiroshima University and others.

“The victims may be still suffering from symptoms” even 25 years after the attack by the now-defunct Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, Aya Sugiyama, assistant professor of the university, told a news conference Thursday.

The university and others investigated the results of questionnaires conducted with the victims over the 10 years from 2000 by nonprofit organization Recovery Support Center, examining the answers from 747 people good for analysis.

The study found that 35.1% of them had PTSD-related symptoms as they met criteria, such as having flashbacks and avoiding talk about the sarin attack.

Furthermore, 60-80% were suffering from eye strain, and many victims complained of headache and dizziness. Psychological and physical pain continued chronically, according to the study.

“The study indicates the need for regular care for the victims and their chronic health problems,” Sugiyama said.

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