3 things you can do to handle emotions in the midst of chaos

If following the Las Vegas story has left you numb -- or maybe feeling helpless -- you are not alone. Psychiatrists suggest taking a deep breath and putting down the phone.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Psychiatrists say they're already hearing from patients who are saddened by the images of the Las Vegas massacre. They say in this social media age, it's hard to just turn off and escape.

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Here are the top three things you can do, according to Dr. David Anderson of the Child Mind Institute:

  1. Take a deep breath and put down your phone. Psychiatrists say, sure, stay informed. But do limit your intake. Taking big gulps can lead to sort of living the event even though you weren't there. “For anything really emotionally distressing for people take it in small doses make sure they’re checking in with themselves,” said Anderson.
  2. You cannot try to put meaning to this. It's just too early to fully understand and find reason in such violence. Doctor Anderson says after you close Facebook, make a call. Talk to friends and family.
  3. Talk to your kids. He says tell them what happened in a factual way. You can be emotional. But Dr. Anderson says that's a fine line since children take cues from adults. There's also a fine line when giving the details. Don't overshare but do point to the people who keep us safe, who help.

Which, after something like this, is not bad advice for adults, too.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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