Boston Terror: The toll on America

Apr. 19, 2013 @ 04:36 PM

Emotions have been running high the past few days all across America as many try to cope with Boston Marathon terrorist attacks on Monday.
While there has been an outpouring of sympathy for those who were hurt and killed at the race, there also were cries for justice as the manhunt for the bombing suspects continued on Friday.
Many in the nation are scared and on high alert as investigators piece together details of the terrorist attacks.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who was in High Point Friday for the 2013 spring High Point Market, praised the work of the FBI, Massachusetts law enforcement and Boston police for responding under difficult conditions to track down the bombing suspects.
“It certainly is a situation of terror,” Hagan said during a brief press conference following her tour of the Stanley Furniture showroom and corporate headquarters in downtown High Point Friday morning.
Hagan, who has served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it’s too early to tell how the suspects ties with the Russian Caucuses and the disputed region of Chechnya might affect debate on an immigration bill in Congress. The two suspects, who are brothers, entered the country from overseas.
If the suspects’ immigration status is taken up in Congress, Hagan said, it probably would be considered separately from the overall immigration reform bill poised for consideration in the Senate soon.
Steve Scoggin, president of CareNet, affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said the psychological impact these events are having on a nation are traumatic and similar to the stages that one goes through during the grieving process.
“The frame of reference of this is that this is a trauma to a city and kind of a retraumatization to the whole country relative to 9/11 and, most recently, Newtown and Aurora,” Scoggin said. “This really re-opens people’s fears and anxiety relative to traumatic events. It raises peoples alertness and hyper vigilance to their own safety.”
Scoggins said even though the country has experienced these type of events several times since 9/11, the country isn’t desensitized to the situations, but are hypervigilant.
“I think it takes a lot of trauma over time to desensitize,” Scoggin said. “Trauma is trauma, no matter if it happens episodically or repeatedly. The sense of safety and concern is heightened. “
Scoggins said the best way to deal with traumatic episodes like this is to talk to those around you.
“The important thing is really to talk to people about how you’re feeling. It’s really that simple. When we are feeling anxious and afraid, their is no better medicine than being in community with other people,” Scoggin said.
Scoggin also suggests taking a deep breath and realizing that it may not directly impact you. He suggests that those who find themselves with interrupted sleep or overly anxious about their safety seek professional help to deal with their extreme anxiety.
“If it interrupts their ability to function, they need to talk to someone,” Scoggin said.
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