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Abstract

At 8:15 am on August 6th, 1945, the world and the way in which we fight wars changed forever. Immediately following the drop of the Little Boy atomic bomb, the city of Hiroshima was decimated, leaving the surviving citizens to deal with poverty, starvation, loss of loved ones, and utter destruction of their lives. After the bombing, survivors were left with burns, radiation poisoning, and physical scars. Unknown to the survivors of the atomic bombings, or Hibakusha, were the ensuing psychological and emotional damages. In 2014, we know more about traumatic experiences than in 1945. Studies from Hiroshima’s Hibakusha have been invaluable to help us understand the psychological effects of traumatic events on the individual. As warfare continues in countries around the world and civilians become targeted more frequently, it is important to understand the factors involved in the process of overcoming stress-related disorders. Hiroshima stands out as the city that has become a leader in positive peace movements and global grassroots nuclear disarmament. By looking at the responses and methods used to treat individuals, we can begin to extend the knowledge about how to treat populations who have undergone mass traumas.