Nearly a week after a racially motivated mass shooting in Jacksonville, many in the local area are still feeling the mental and emotional effects of 3 innocent people being killed.
The National Institute of Mental Health says that not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Sometimes, knowing that someone close to you, or in your community has experienced trauma can cause PTSD.
In relation to last week’s shooting, a local clinical therapist Action News Jax spoke with said that constantly seeing violent acts against others in your community can have lasting mental and emotional effects. But there are ways to understand and heal your triggers.
Licensed clinical therapist Nigeria Mchellon spoke about having empathy.
“I think if we can operate in a space of empathy and love, we don’t have to understand what everybody is experiencing or feeling,” Mchellon said. “If we can empathy for what other people are feeling, it allows us to hold space and allow them to feel what they feel.”
Right after last weekend’s mass shooting where a gunman killed 3 innocent people at a local Dollar General, Hurricane Idalia became the next big story that the community had to focus on.
Mchellon said that even though the shooting isn’t the current topic of conversation, its effects could be lingering in the subconscious of many in the form of PTSD by exposure. Some of the easily diagnosable symptoms are:
“Your habits are changing, maybe you’re more irritated with your spouse, your family, or members of the community,” Mchellon said. “If some of your habits change, meaning maybe you’re not going to work like you should or you’re not working out as much as you used to, or losing sleep. trauma, anxiety, depression all those things start to manifest in those ways.”
Mchellon said that the black community is being directly affected by this specific tragic event. There is an overall need for anyone of any race, who has yet again been exposed to the ideas of racism and hatred to seek clinical help to cope with any underlying symptoms of PTSD by exposure that they may be experiencing.
“Just say hey, I want to talk about this with my therapist, get an assessment done,” Mchellon said. “We go to the doctor and get checkups, we go to the eye doctor and get our eyes checked, go seek out therapy just as a routine opportunity to make sure you’re okay.”
Mchellon said that journaling can help calm a loud mind and that learning and exercising “self-love” can help reinforce personal values, and heal some traumas.
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But most importantly, she said that therapy is by far the most consistent and impactful way to combat any form of PTSD. Therapy will help maintain positive mental health.