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Tips - Trauma

Dedicated to the victims of the World Trade Center and their friends and loved ones.

Emotional numbing, along with loss of pleasure, lack of concentration, insomnia, headaches, alienation and distrust are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome, says Dr. Karen Sitterlee, a mental health expert at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who counseled victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.

"What we'll see is that, in the first few days -- and really even the couple of weeks -- following an event, people develop symptoms associated with trauma," she says.

From Mike:
Terrorism feeds on the panic created out of the fear of helplessness. It also grows with each success, once the effect of terrorism spreads beyond the immediate victims into the foundations of society it has no limit. Individually we can act by demonstrating our strength to stay calm, support each other and communicate in an indivisible voice.

Underneath all that is our willingness to be "reasonably" in charge of our emotional responses. 

For breathing that can reduce stress, grief, panic, and trauma. Try this breathing exercise: The Squeeze and Breathe

Recommended Self Help Program: Deepest Calm

From a colleague.

Dear Family and Friends:  This is a perspective from my experience at this astounding time in our life that may be helpful to you and/or others.  I slept poorly last night and felt many stress symptoms, especially today.
Since in my career as a physical therapist, I study and teach stress reduction techniques, especially related to breathing better, I figured that many of us are feeling that way, too. 
 Then I remembered that even though I didn't have the TV set/ radio on all the time, I was watching and listening and reading and looking at the pictures quite a bit.  My daughter had trouble sleeping after watching some of it, too.  I realized that they often repeat the same or similar devastating scenes over and over again, and like Pavlov's dogs, that conditioning of that fear and shock is too much for most bodies to deal with, without having significant stress reactions.  
I remembered then what I did during my pregnancy during the Gulf War, which of course was of much smaller magnitude by comparison.  I did not watch TV, and just read an update, for only a little while each day that it was necessary.  I concentrated on praying for peace and doing all the things that help reduce stress, including being with good friends, eating nutritiously, having peaceful and fun experiences, and good aerobic exercise.  Now I've decided to take a similar approach and minimize my exposure to the media, especially when it is repetitive and stressful, just keeping updated as to what is important to know for much shorter periods of time.  I think this is especially important  for children and young adults.
 What helps the most is to turn to a Higher Power ( for me, God), who helps us overcome evil with good.  Thank you all for your love and caring, that is the greatest gift we give each other. That love is so inspiring in all the heroes that have shown such courage and compassion this week.  
Love, Margaret Leong.

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.