Americans face the trauma of repeated murders

The University of Virginia, the Club Q gay club in Colorado Springs, a Walmart in Chesapeake: mass murders follow one another in the United States and the whole nation has to manage some sort of “collective trauma”, title The Washington Post.

“One of the reasons why these recent episodes of violence have such a strong impact on the mental health of many people, explains the newspaper, is that they took place in places where people normally feel safe, according to Pooja Sharma, a clinical psychologist in Berkeley, California. As, in particular, “a place where you go out to spend the evening together and a shop where you go to work or do the shopping before the holidays”, specifies this practitioner.

mental tiredness

For many Americans, resignation prevails. Sometimes to their own dismay. A Brooklyn therapist says: “A patient just told me: “You know, I’m kind of desensitized to all of this.” And he added: “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

Sometimes, however, the event awakens an intimate wound. Ohio social worker Elizabeth Rieger says a gay woman was traumatized by the Club Q shootings because she already suffers from being “much outcast in his own family.”

“The scourge of gun violence will no doubt be a topic of conversation around many tables during Thanksgiving celebrations,” this Thursday, note The Washington Post. Talking is important, even on this joyful day, says Texas psychologist Kayla M. Johnson.

“I don’t care if it’s a party or if it ruins the mood. People need to share that they miss a loved one or that the state of the world makes them angry.”

Use anger and despair

If, however, the topic is too heavy for some, they should feel free to isolate themselves for a moment or cut themselves off from the information flow, the experts add.

Negative emotions aren’t inherently bad, says Atlanta-based clinical psychologist Lakeasha Sullivan.

“The other side of despair is anger, a justified fury at this situation. These emotions must not be suppressed, because they can be used constructively.

“The button, summarizes the newspaper, it’s not letting those emotions become destructive.

“Let your emotions run wild, but don’t let them isolate you. Have an action plan to manage them”, advises Arron Muller, a social worker in New York State.

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