Mercy, Mercy We: Managing Stress In Traumatic Times
Are we living in 1965 or 2015!?! Yes, I am aware it is 2015, but with all that has taken place recently one must wonder. I mean c’mon, it seems like every week we have to hear of or deal with a tragedy that tops the one before. From Trayvon Martin, to Mike Brown, and most recently the death of an unarmed man in Baltimore, the news, community conversation, social media platforms, TV and radio all seem to spew the same message with no solutions.
Violence and reports of it in this magnitude, overlapping moment by moment, can eventually take up residence in a society’s mind. Like combat veterans, every day citizens – especially our youth – develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As many as one-third of children living in our country’s urban neighborhoods have PTSD, according to recent research and the country’s top child trauma experts. That’s nearly twice the rate reported for troops returning from war zones in Iraq. Can you imagine what the number is for adults who are bombarded with violence on all media platforms and not to mention their daily life stressors?
My questions in the midst of all of this are, where do we go to process our emotions, who do we turn to, how do we deal with it all and what can we do to stay sane and mentally healthy in these stressful times?
First, let’s look at some of the symptoms of stress (click here):