Viewing Violent Events Through News Coverage, Social Media May Cause Psychological Distress

The CBS News (11/16, Welch) website reported in light of Friday evening’s terrorist attacks in Paris that although “survivors, witnesses and first responders of such violent events often struggle with post traumatic stress disorder… viewing images and videos of these violent events through news coverage and social media can affect people who weren’t there in similar ways.”

Robert Ursano, MD, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters, told CBS News, “The more similarities you see between you and the victims, the more things that remind you of ‘it could be like me,’ the higher your level of psychological distress.” People who were not at the scene of the attacks “may still experience responses like depression and generalized anxiety disorder, as well as psychological distress, which includes sleep disturbances, desire to stay at home and avoidance of reminders of the trauma, Ursano explained.”

Related Links:

— “Watching news coverage of Paris attacks may take toll on viewers,” Ashley Welch, CBS News, November 16, 2015.

Posted in In The News.