Mass Shootings, most of us feel stressed. or numb.
Every morning we awake to the news of another mass shooting in or near our neighborhoods. We also awaken to the news of mass shootings in other parts of the nation. This news is shocking and jarring. It causes many people to feel helpless or to blame others, such as the poor or other ethnic groups. However, these shootings are done by people across the ethnic, age-group, socio-economic, and religious spectrum.
According to Jillian Peterson, an associate professor of criminology at Hamline University, and James Densley, a professor of criminal justice at Metro State University, these shootings are ways to commit suicide.
Professor Peterson states that those who commit mass murders have a similar history:
Early childhood trauma.
Violence in the home,
The build toward hopelessness, despair, isolation, self-loathing,
Peer rejection can become an identifiable crisis point.
Previous suicide attempts.
Repetition of news reports
Copycat murders resulting from repeated reports
The almost daily reports of mass shootings in that nation have become stressful and traumatizing
These shootings occur in and outside schools, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, and local neighborhoods. For children and teens with mental health issues, the constant backdrop of violence harms the sense of well-being and safety. It is causing many Americans to live in fear.
Besides increases in depression, anxiety, and suicides, most teens now worry about a shooting at their school. Those concerns have been linked to students’ elevated anxiety levels.
It is also important to remember the context within which these shootings happen. Americans have endured the pandemic and higher prices at the gasoline pump and grocery stores. Mortgage rates continue to rise, as is the cost of heating homes, and rental prices have also soared. These events are harming the mental health of many people.
There are strategies available to help people better cope with these traumatizing events. Among these are:
Meditation and Yoga
Regular family discussions at the dinner table
Attendance at religious services
Limit or avoid alcohol consumption
Avoid illicit drug abuse.
Completely avoid domestic violence
For those feeling depressed, anxious, or have thoughts of self-harm:
a. Attend psychotherapy sessions:
b. Family psychotherapy sessions
c. Individual psychotherapy sessions
Dr. Schwartz is available for a consultation or answer questions and take comments: