Boston Bombings Affect The Mind [AUDIO]
The images and video from Monday’s attack at the Boston Marathon are not something that can be easily erased from the human mind. Blood covered the sidewalks, people were crying for help or running for their lives, and bodies were being carried from the scene on stretchers.
The mental effects can be long-lasting, not only for the people at the finish line that day, but for anyone who got a glimpse of the horrifying footage and a reminder of the way they felt after the September 11, 2011 attacks.
“When we see things like this on television, there’s this idea that it can happen anywhere, especially when innocent bystanders are hurt,” explained Dr. Allen Weg, a licensed psychiatrist with Stress and Anxiety Services of New Jersey. “There are plenty of people in New Jersey, for instance, who have been to that particular part of Boston.”
Weg added, though, people can’t go through life scared. The news may show all the ‘bad’ that goes on in this world, but tragedies like Monday’s double bombing are not the norm.
“Your chances of being in a situation when something like that happens are incredibly low, and they’re no more than they were yesterday, or last week or last month,” Weg explained.
People can think back to the weeks and months following 9/11 to realize that the fear and mental anguish will eventually fade. Some New Jersey residents admitted they are hesitant to attend next year’s Super Bowl in East Rutherford because of the Boston incident, but their feelings may change as the event approaches.
Children were also exposed to the graphic pictures and footage from Monday. A television is no longer needed to keep up with current events; sites like Facebook and Twitter help move news quickly.
Dr. Christine Tintorer, a child psychiatrist at Monmouth Medical Center, said parents can help their children cope by focusing on all the people who assisted the victims after the bombs went off. She cited a quote from Mr. Rogers that has been popular in the social media world following Monday’s tragedy and the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’