Anxiety When There is a Tragedy

Managing anxiety on a daily basis can be a struggle.  In these last few months the news has reported on several tragedies that can give us each pause and trigger anxiety.  The hurricanes in Florida, Houston, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as well as the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas and the terror attack in New York City are very hard to process in an already anxious mind.  If you find yourself endlessly worrying about these recent events, is critical to acknowledge your fears but also make a plan to help you deal with your anxiety.

Initial panic over a horrific event is of course completely normal.  You may be concerned about friends and family who are involved in or live in that area.  If the incident is close to you it may be overwhelming to think that something bad could happen.  You may have thoughts and questions for yourself like “could a storm like that hit where I live?”  “What would we do if we lost power and didn’t have clean water for an extended period of time like in Puerto Rico.”  “How safe are we from more terror attacks here in NYC.”  

These anxious feelings that you are having and questions you are asking are normal when there is a crisis, even far away.  Do not feel that your thought of “could this happen to me” is unfounded.  Acknowledge the reality of what you are thinking as important.  The problem occurs when your thoughts start to spiral.  It is important to recognize the direction your feelings are headed before they cause debilitating anxiety which can create a kind of psychic paralysis that keeps you from living your life.  

Anxiety that is brought about by a sense of impending doom is not uncommon in uncertain times.  And in a bustling city like ours there are certainly many big issues to worry about.  I completely understand and know how are scary these very real threats seem to be.  Over the years NYC has had some tragedies hit close to home and being able to weather these, and other storms, is critical.  

When you work with a psychotherapist, you can start to build a plan so that when fear and panic set in you can deal with the emotions in a positive way.  Isolated incidents that cause panic can be dealt with in a positive way, and I am here to help you figure out the best plan for you.  

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