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Finding Healing Amidst Tragedy

Posted on: June 30th, 2020

Collectively, our hearts are heavy for all those affected throughout the world, in our own country, and neighborhoods as a result of the coronavirus.  Tragedy on this scale can be difficult for those directly and indirectly affected by the virus.  Whether you have loved ones affected by it, have a personal connection to someone affected by it, or have engaged through news reports by the media, there is a chance you are dealing with stress, anxiety, and emotional strain.

An important part of coping is accepting and providing support when needed.  According to Dr. Jennifer Gentile of Amwell, everyone experiences stress differently and that may be reflected in a variety of emotions, actions, and expressions.  There is no right or wrong way to react to the news of a frightening event, such as the coronavirus.  She describes that responses to traumatic events may include a combination of the following: https://amwell.com/cm/blog/how-to-cope-and-heal-in-the-wake-of-tragedy/

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Hypervigilance and fear about the future
  • Intense feeling of anger and irritability
  • Sadness and depression
  • Apathy, emotional numbness, or denial
  • Nightmares and recurring thoughts about the event
  • Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep
  • Increased physical complaints related to headaches, stomach cramps, back pain, rapid heart rate, nausea, and fatigue

She goes on to say that grieving is important in the days following a traumatic event, or prolonged one, such as the pandemic.  Seeking assistance from a health care provider after experiencing a trauma is a reasonable response and helps prevent long-lasting effects, such as Acute Stress Disorder, PTSD, and depression.

There is no right answer or time limit for the grieving process, but if it interferes with daily life, if you start to abuse substances, or have thoughts of death or suicide, it’s time to talk to a professional or go to your nearest emergency room.  Contact me at SHCS.