Coping with PTSD after the Boston Bombings For DivaGalsDaily.Com

May 9, 2013 // Posted by Janna Andrews, M.D. // Posted in: DivaGals Blog

Our resident Health Diva, Dr. Janna Andrews, offers some advice on dealing with your feelings after the Boston bombings.

The aftermath of the Boston bombings will have long-lasting effects. The tragedy came to a culmination when suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shoot out that ended with his brother allegedly running him over. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured after going back to college and carrying on nonchalantly. He engaged in a 20-minute shoot out before being arrested. Now lying in a hospital bed, only able to communicate through the written word, he is being charged and could face the death penalty.

I hope that this ending brings some closure to the families that have suffered from such a tremendous loss. For those that were present during such a horrific event, some will unfortunately develop post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that develops after a psychological trauma. Fifty to 90 percent of people will unfortunately experience a life tragedy; 20 to 30 percent of these people will develop PTSD, usually within three months. But it can actually take years to appear.

Many of the victims of the Boston bombings will experience the event over and over again in flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety that will tremendously impact their lives. None of these symptoms would be abnormal after such an event; however, if the symptoms persist for longer than a month, it may be prudent to see a physician.

Treatment for PTSD can include:
• Medications
• Psychotherapy
• Acupuncture, an alternative therapy that has also been shown to be helpful in addressing symptoms of PTSD

The loved ones of the victims of the Boston bombings may also experience emotional symptoms after watching their loved ones try to recover and regain their stride. Establishing a good support group and an open dialogue can help everyone try to heal.

As the suspect moves towards a trial, a lot of emotions will surface for the whole nation, and hopefully so will solidarity.

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