I am writing a paper on terrorism throughout social media, yet I cannot find a way to phrase the state of horror within a country. My sentence is as follows,

"Terrorist attacks are detrimental to the families of its victims as well as the (state of horror/fear) within the country."

  • 6
    It seems your sentence calls for the opposite of what you asked. Terrorist acts do not detract from the state of horror / fear within a country; rather, they enhance it. A word or phrase that fits your construction would need to describe the country's general sense of comfort and well-being. – PellMel Mar 29 '16 at 15:11
  • I agree with @PellMel 's interpretation of what you might actually need for your sentence, and if that interpretation is correct, you could consider replacing "within" with "of" and personify the country by using "as well as [to] the soul/psyche of the [entire] country." – Papa Poule Mar 29 '16 at 16:22
  • Fortunately, most of us do not have first-hand experience with this situation, so many comments/answers will be speculative. Plus it is not entirely clear what your question is. – Hot Licks Mar 29 '16 at 20:09
  • One apt phrase for the state of horror/fear within a country might be "demagogue readiness"—since increased levels of fear and horror at uncontrollable (or difficult-to-control) events seem to have a fairly strong correlation to increased willingness to support political candidates that promise simple, "strong" solutions to complicated problems. – Sven Yargs Mar 30 '16 at 0:05

In order to have “detrimental to” work with both the victim’s family in the first clause and also with the negative notion that you seek for the second one, you could consider personifying the nation and talk of the condition of its psyche.

"Terrorist attacks are detrimental to the families of its victims as well as the nation’s {already} troubled/anxious psyche.”

(example of “nation’s troubled psyche” from ‘Yucca Mountain Dirty Bomb’ by Wendell Duffield and cf: an example of a person’s “already anxious psyche” can be found here from ‘My Journey’ by Donna Karan, both via ‘Google Books’)

psyche n.
1. The spirit or soul.

trouble/troubled v.tr..
a. To cause to be anxious or worried: was troubled by the decline in sales.

anxious adj.
1. Uneasy and apprehensive about an uncertain event or matter; worried.
2. Attended with, showing, or causing anxiety: spent an anxious night waiting for the test results.

(all three definitions from ‘The American Heritage Dictionary’)

| improve this answer | |

I think it is generally referred to as Alert State:

Alert state is used in milieu variously, although in a capitalized form the reference is of an indication of the state of readiness of the armed forces for military action or a State against terrorism or military attack. The term frequently used is on High Alert.


| improve this answer | |

Terrorist attacks are detrimental to victims and their families as well as to the sense of well-being experienced by the community.

But I would try to be more specific with the impact on the victim and the family. Because you mention the specific impact on the community (sense of well-being) you should mention the specific impact on the family.

| improve this answer | |

An atmosphere of terror is a far too common term nowadays.

Religious zealots creating 'atmosphere of terror' in Beit Shemesh

[Jewish World]

Bid to create an atmosphere of terror

[The Hindu]

And from 2007

Gerry Anderson: the Algarve's atmosphere of terror

By Maureen Coleman 15/05/20070

Radio Ulster presenter Gerry Anderson last night told of the palpable sense of fear among parents holidaying in Portugal after the Madeleine McCann abduction.

[Belfast Telegraph]

| improve this answer | |

"Terrorist attacks often have a devastating impact on the families of its victims as well as exacerbating existing fear-mongering perpetrated in and by various groups within a country."

| improve this answer | |
  • +1, especially for addressing/resolving the issue mentioned in @PellMel 's comment under the question by using “exacerbate” to introduce the second clause, which makes much more sense than being detrimental to a negative notion in the OP’s context, imo. – Papa Poule Mar 29 '16 at 22:16
  • Where is the synonym of 'state of fear'? – Edwin Ashworth Mar 29 '16 at 23:46
  • I believe that "normally" a state of fear follows an attack. What would exist prior to it, would be fear-mongering about those kinds of attacks. – Lambie Mar 30 '16 at 15:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.