When Disaster Hits: Healing from Tragedy

Finding comfort in a time of need.
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The recent tragedy has touched us all and left many of us wondering what to expect. Even the idea of healing can feel so far away, but there are a few things you can do to help yourself start to find comfort.

News of tragedies like this can provoke intense feelings of fear, sadness, uncertainty and helplessness - no matter how close we were to the event. In fact, people exposed to a steady stream of news coverage in the aftermath of a crisis can even develop symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

You may have questions about how to best handle grief in the face of tragedy, and we’ve addressed a few below.

What are some of the ways people can be affected by events like mass shootings?

People can develop immense anxiety from events like this. They can start having fears and stop wanting to do things that might expose them or make them feel vulnerable.

Members in our community here can be expected to feel anxious; who's to say something like this couldn't happen at another local business? It can make it difficult to go about living your life.

What is the best way for people to help manage their grief around this tragedy?

Continue to live your life the way you already are. You almost have to turn a blind eye to it or you'll end up living in fear. And a life lived in constant fear is not worth living.

Practice healthy, positive thinking. Surrounding yourself with positive people is the best way to traverse this. It's how we pull ourselves through these tough times.

What should people do if they feel they’re being overcome by grief or trauma?

This was a devastating tragedy, so if you’re feeling like it’s affecting you more than it should, we recommend that you seek help. We extend ourselves to the community to be of assistance if you’re having issues.

What signs of trauma should people look for in themselves?

Avoidance behaviors, nightmares, constant worrying and feeling on edge - even at places like the grocery store.

For some individuals who experienced a tragedy, this is essentially a recurrence, so post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms can certainly arise.

When your day-to-day life is altered as a result of this to the point that you become dysfunctional, you should seek help from a psychiatrist or therapist. It's wise to be proactive about this situation than just to sit on it.

Are there any signs of trauma or grief that parents should look for in their children?

Yes, children present very differently than adults. Kids tend to have big somatic complaints, such as tummy aches that don't necessarily make sense, not wanting to go to school and development of separation anxiety.

Really, any deviation from their baseline behavior is something to keep an eye out for.

If you or a loved one is having difficulty coping with recent tragedies, it's important to reach out for help. Call us at Call855-303-DOCS for information about AdventHealth's behavioral health services.

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