While you and your family have remained unaffected by news stories about mass shootings, you may have a fear of facing mass shootings. Many people feel the tension and perhaps are distressed about an incident leading to mass shooting anxiety.
Before and after a terrible incident like a mass shooting, people may feel a wide range of emotions. Finding constructive coping mechanisms when these things happen is crucial.
Mass Shooting Anxiety Effects
A person’s level and type of exposure to the event strongly correlate with their risk of developing mental health issues. As a result, danger to one’s life and physical harm, along with proximity to the terror, are the factors that most accurately predict psychological distress, difficulty in coping, and possible mental health impairment up to 10 years after the incident.
The most long-lasting effects will be felt by those directly affected by the event and those close to the immediate survivors.
Following are the mass shooting anxiety effects. All have been found to raise the risk for PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders.
- Guilt and animosity
- Anxiety sensitivity
- Beliefs that things happen at random and without our control
- Prior absence of social support
- Considering and avoiding coping mechanisms
- Punitive approaches to crime
How to deal with it?
Restrict your consumption of media
Watching and replaying gruesome scenes of people being shot and dying while listening to ominous voiceovers and spooky music intros that appear after brief commercial breaks can cause traumatizing experiences vicariously. Some people may experience increased tension and anxiety from repeatedly hearing the same news reports about a tragic occurrence. Reduce your exposure to it and focus on relaxing hobbies to speed up your recovery.
After a distressing occurrence, people have trouble going to sleep, or they wake up frequently. Try writing thoughts in a notebook or on a piece of paper if you wake up and find it difficult to go back to sleep. If you have difficulties sleeping, don’t use your phone or laptop before bed, and avoid coffee at least an hour before bed.
Create and stick to a regimen
To ensure enough rest, try to consume meals at regular intervals and establish a sleep plan. Include one enjoyable activity you can anticipate doing daily or weekly in your routine.
Don’t make important life decisions
Changing jobs or careers can be stressful on its own and considerably more challenging to adjust to just after a catastrophic experience.
Believe that things will change
Mass shootings are one type of disaster that can ruin homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship while causing long-term disruption to the lives of those living there. People occasionally lose loved ones or sustain physical or emotional wounds that could last a lifetime.
Additionally, some individuals can suffer a temporary or permanent job loss. Children who attend a new or temporary school may become separated from their peers or have their after-school activities interrupted.
Ask for assistance
There is no shame in seeking help. A professional can give you many more coping mechanisms to get you through this period. Setting aside a specific period to go through issues also prevents interruptions and improves concentration. Your emotions will eventually surface in some way. Speaking them out during a therapy session can be a healthier way to do so than holding them inside until they manifest as stress rashes or terror dreams.
The typical responses to seemingly random acts of mass violence include shock, worry, and dread. Additionally, recent catastrophes have the power to stir up old fears and anxieties. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can recur in people who already have it. It’s essential to take measures to manage your emotions when they begin to control your life or become overwhelming.