Social media and news coverage of shootings, bombings, protests, sexual assaults, and other events has been graphic and intense. In general, experiencing violence can result in serious psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While people may not develop a psychological disorder after hearing first-hand accounts or viewing graphic, real-time images of these events, people do experience strong emotions, such as fear, sadness, grief, and anger.
The more similar one is to the person or people experiencing an event, the more likely it is that the person indirectly-involved will develop a strong reaction. When crimes are reported in news coverage or shared through the immediacy of social media, many groups of people see someone with whom they identify being accused of criminal behavior, perpetrating a crime, or experiencing a violent act. The more a person is reminded of years of discrimination, bias, or prejudice, the more likely it is that there will be significant stress or distress. "That could be me." turns into "That is me!"
Work/Life Connections-EAP has suggestions for ways to cope with the effects of hearing about and viewing recent violent events. Visit our resource library and read the article, "Psychological Effects of Recent Violent Events" by WLC-EAP's clinical psychologist, Dr. Chad Buck. In addition to information how how people may respond, there are specific recommendations for ways to cope with a wide range of reactions.
If you need more information or support, please call (615) 936-1327 and schedule an appointment for an assessment with one of our licensed clincians.