All the bad news out of West, Texas and Boston could have a negative impact on your mental health. Even though you weren't there, even if you didn't know anyone there, just watching the coverage of these tragic events can start to impact you.
Megan Hale is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern with Cardwell Counseling. She said traumatic events can have an impact on people thousands of miles away. She said, "Its easy to get pulled into all of it and experience a lot of the emotions that a lot of the people are experiencing who are going through it themselves."
The condition is called Secondary or Vicarious Traumatization and can come with symptoms similar to P.T.S.D. Hale said, "You might see symptoms like sadness, depression, withdrawing from other people, isolating. You might experience difficulty concentrating or making decisions."
One of the best ways to deal with these conditions is to talk it through with friends and family. Even if you feel fine, its always good to discuss tragic events and whether its having an impact on you. She said, "I think it builds camaraderie that were all in this together, that you're not the only one whose experiencing these symptoms. Its important for us to know that were not alone."
If serious symptoms persist for a week or more, Hale said it could be beneficial to get professional help.
Another way to maintain a good balance is to unplug from news coverage and social media during tragic events. While we at Newschannel 6 want to get you all the news, you also need time to process how it may affect you. Hale said, "We have so many sources of information nowadays so you can get over stimulated."