The North End, and the entire City of Boston, is shaken and distressed by Monday’s tragic events. Even if you did not personally experience direct physical trauma from these events, they may present with emotional distress.
It is very common for people to experience emotional aftershocks when they have experienced a horrible event directly or indirectly from media accounts. Sometimes this type of stress reaction appears immediately, but for others the feelings don’t surface until a few days or weeks have passed. It is normal to experience a wide range of emotions, including shock, disbelief, fear, anger, sadness, anxiety and hopelessness.
North End Waterfront Health’s Behavioral Health Department will hold a public drop-in session to discuss dealing with the marathon tragedy on Tuesday, April 23 from 5-6 p.m. We encourage anyone who is having trouble during this difficult time to stop by.
Here are some suggestions with ways to cope with the trauma:
- Identify the feelings that you may be experiencing. Understand that your feelings are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
- Remember that you have overcome adversity and trauma in the past. Try to remember what you did that helped you overcome the fear and helplessness in that situation.
- Talk to others about your fears. It’s okay to ask for help.
- Make efforts to maintain your usual routine.
- Think positively. Realize that things will get better. Be realistic about the time it takes to feel better.
- Recognize that the nature of terrorist attacks creates fear and uncertainty about the future. Continue to do the things in your life that you enjoy. Don’t get preoccupied with the things you cannot control to the extent that they prevent you from living your normal life.
- Know the actions our government is taking to combat terrorism and restore safety and security. Recognize that trained officials throughout the country are mobilized to prevent, prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks.
- Limit exposure to media coverage.
Children can experience emotional distress in response to these tragic events, too. Here are some tips for helping children cope:
- Encourage children to say how they are feeling about the event.
- Ask children what they have seen, heard or experienced.
- Assure children that their parents are taking care of them and will continue to help them
deal with anything that makes them feel afraid.
- Help children recognize when they have shown courage in meeting a new scary
situation and accomplished a goal despite hardship or barriers. Instill a sense of
- Let children know that institutions of democracy are still in place and our
government is intact. (It can also be helpful for adults to realize this.)
- Know that it is possible for children to experience vicariously the traumatization
from the terrorist attack (e.g. watching TV coverage, overhearing adult conversations).
For more information, please call Mary Wright at 617-643-8064.