Disastrous news gets delivered in a highly emotional way – often on purpose – and while having strong feelings for the victims of war, floods, earthquakes, mass shootings or horrific accidents is justified, we also have to be logical and in tune with our own emotional processes when interpreting the news.
Limit the depth of exposure to details. People can consume news in limited ways. In other words, learn what’s happening, then stop there. Avoid the urge for disaster voyeurism. If you have heard the story, you might not need to search for the images or the videos; if you have seen them, there is no need to revisit them over and over.
Many years of research (much of which has been conducted by the authors of this post) have shown that people who try to avoid memories and reminders of difficult experiences have more symptoms of PTSD and depression, and other problems over time.
What happens in PTSD, is that the brain goes into the fight and flight mode and is constantly on alert to protect the person from recurrence of the highly dangerous experience. But the problem is that it cannot come down from that state of heightened arousal, even after leaving the dangerous situation, and coming back to the safe life environment.
Working with Black churches to create a better today and a much better tomorrow in the field (literally) of mental health care for African Americans are three Black leaders in mental health who will present at the 2023 ADAA Conference. ADAA is excited to have Bernadine Waller, PhD, Atasha Jordan, MBA, MD and Kimberly Arnold, MPH, PhD discuss their work, research and findings in a presentation titled Implementing Evidence-Based Mental Health Interventions in Black Churches.
Yet another community is stricken with grief. In addition to those who are experiencing direct loss, such events also take a toll on others, including those who witnessed the shooting, first responders, people who were nearby and those who hear about it through the media.
As the Executive Director of ADAA, I am always thrilled when we realize our work is making a difference and that we are reaching farther and wider. So, when the Hadassah Foundation, a mental health organization in Cameroon, contacted ADAA with a request to access our free member-created, publicly available, evidence-based resources, we not only acquiesced, we collaborated.
Studies have shown a correlation with the development of PTSD and avoidance behaviors. In other words, the more one tries not to think about a traumatic event, resists revisiting a traumatic place, and avoids contact with any potential triggers of the traumatic event, the more likely one is to develop PTSD.
Communities of color often have cultures that are rooted in the importance of community and family. Therefore, people of color are used to taking care of others and can find it difficult to prioritize self-care. However, self-care can be a powerful mental health tool for fostering mental well-being.
If you are in crisis please dial 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.Please note: ADAA is not a direct service organization. ADAA does not provide psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Founded in 1979, ADAA is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through aligning research, practice and education.