CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - It's been one week since the Boston bombings, and residents there are still trying to make sense of it all as they try to resume their lives. But even if you're not in the community where the tragedy occurred you can still be affected. With so many disturbing images of what's going on in the world, it's easy to become emotionally overwhelmed.
Doctor Stuart Anfang, Chief of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center, shared some tips on how to deal with a national tragedy.
Talk about your feelings.
Even when the trauma is something that is being talked about publicly, it's important to talk to others about how you feel and are affected.
Take care of yourself.
Feeling threatened can make you feel more impulsive. Take care of your body by watching what/how much you eat; your use of alcohol, drugs, caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and medicine; and by practicing safe sex. Be sure to do some regular exercise and be more attentive when driving.
Find ways to express your feelings about the trauma. Suggestions include political action, community service, and spiritual/religious practice.
This includes time to relax, reflect, and replenish in ways that are comfortable for you. Give yourself and others permission to experience post-trauma reactions. You may need time alone to pamper yourself or you may need to be with family or friends. Ask for emotional support from people you trust.
Moderate your news intake.
If the trauma is widely publicized, be mindful of how the media reports affect you. While having information is helpful for some crises, some people may want to limit how much they read, listen to, or watch the news.
Expressions of Grief
The range of reactions that children display in response to the death of significant others may include:
Emotional shock and at times an apparent lack of feelings, which serve to help the child detach from the pain of the moment;
Regressive (immature) behaviors, such as needing to be rocked or held, difficulty separating from parents or significant others, needing to sleep in parent's bed or an apparent difficulty completing tasks well within the child's ability level;
Explosive emotions and acting out behavior that reflect the child's internal feelings of anger, terror, frustration and helplessness. Acting out may reflect insecurity and a way to seek control over a situation for which they have little or no control;
Asking the same questions over and over, not because they do not understand the facts, but rather because the information is so hard to believe or accept. Repeated questions;