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Managing Stress in the Age of Mass Violence

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Take care of the impact of mass violence on your psyche!

[h=2]Managing Stress in the Age of Mass Violence[/h]By Jeffrey Lieberman, MD
If you can’t be safe at a shopping mall, movie theater, restaurant, or place of work, where can you feel secure? In the wake of recurring incidents of unprovoked mass violence in everyday public settings, that is the question many people seem to be increasingly asking themselves.
When an act of violence is an isolated event, only the people directly involved are affected. But when such terrible events occur repeatedly and are amplified by the 24/7 news cycle of the media, their psychological effects expand their geographic range and ripple through the population.
And once the frequency and number of these tragedies exceed a certain threshold, the population becomes sensitized and eventually begins to show symptoms. This may seem contradictory to the popular notion that we have become desensitized to violence because it has become so commonplace in our society. But exposure to violence that does not directly involve or personally affect us – such as gang violence and violence in the media – doesn’t diminish our reactions to massacres of innocent bystanders going about their daily law abiding lives who have no relationship to the perpetrators.
Of course, not everyone in the population shows the same symptoms of being sensitized to violence – nor to the same degree. Those people who suffer from or are vulnerable to mental disorders like depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder will be most susceptible and may experience the onset or worsening of symptoms. People without mental disorders but who are by nature worriers, nervous and risk averse, may become more so. Those who are more resilient and comfortable with risk, will be less affected unless they experience the trauma directly. But while not everyone is equally affected, no one is immune.
If these violent attacks continue to happen, we must recognize them for what they are: a public health threat. And just as we have strategies to reduce the damage done by other public threats like air pollution, smoking tobacco and Ebola, we should also have strategies to lessen the stressful effects of mass violence.
Obviously, the best approach to dealing with this public health problem is to eliminate its cause. However, while our government enacted laws to improve air quality, limit smoking and contain the spread of infection, they have not yet been able to stop terrorism or been willing to commit the resources needed to care more effectively for people with mental illness (the two most proximal causes of mass violence).
Until the sources of the problem can be eliminated, here are some things you can do to cope.
1. Be aware of your feelings, such as anxiety or worry, and how they affect your behavior including insomnia, not engaging in usual activities, not going out of your home.
2. Limit your exposure to the media’s description of mass violent incidents.
3. Learn and practice some form of stress management such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness, meditation, or exercise.
4. Consult your primary care physician if you experience symptoms, whether physical or mental, and consider whether they could be stress related.

!. Media both print , TV have a way of exaggerating the negative violent incidents for more eyeballs.

2..Lack of safety is overblown out of proportion.

3. seniors shutting themselves into their homes is a common occurrence.

4. most ground floor residents lock their front gates at night, have magic eyes installed to see anyone before opening front door of home.

5. most delhi colonies have a huge mast lights to light up the fronts of homes.

most are paranoid about intruders, terrorists .

most do not realise that there are more chances of getting hurt when one tries to be over protective and tries to play for safety.

One should live like a free bird caring too hoots for physical, economic safety and trust all until they prove they do not deserve to be trusted.

Loners suffer and not those who try to reach out to all.


During 1984 there was genocide of Sikhs and there were more than 2000 deaths at Delhi.

There were lot who are unperturbed to such mass violence and stayed cool.

Morale: One should live like a free bird not caring too hoots for physical, economic safety and don't trust all until they prove they do deserve to be trusted.

Loners manage stress and not those who try to reach out to all who are victims of stress
Causes for Stress include mass violence (sense of insecurity), natural disasters (loss of assets, life) and many more. Even a long queue in a Railway counter / Bank counter or a traffic snarl can be the cause for stress. In Tamil Nadu, ladies watching TV serials are subjected to much stress (with the serial stopping at crucial scene - they have to wait for a day to know what happened next).

As Shri V Balasubramani has observed, one should live like a free bird not caring too much. Reading habit certainly helps, Yoga is the Best remedy for stress - Indulgence in more religious activities, visiting places with lot of greenery are some of the other options. Probably our ancients seers have chosen forests to do "tapas" in spite of the dangers of getting attacked by wild animals, based on these facts !
Stress Management Techniques are marketed in different brand names of " Yoga".

They charge more than moderate prices.

Majority of the customers are young and that too from Software side.
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