Dealing with tragedy

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Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 5:52 pm | Updated: 9:18 pm, Mon Dec 31, 2012.

If you know someone directly effected by the recent tragedy or have just been following the news, you know how difficult this tragedy is to comprehend or even hear about. Psychologists say the healthiest thing to do is to discuss it or even have a good cry.

There are moms like Maria Degaetano affected. "You have to even worry when your kids go to school. It's scary."

Even those like Clifford Simpson who have seen the worst of wars. "I have seen a lot of stuff in my life. World War two and military service. Nothing has hit me as hard as this has."

The news of innocent young lives and senseless deaths impacting people here at home and around the world.  "Everyone is affected. Not just that small town," says Tom Degaetano.

"It tugs at the heart of any reasonable adult." Dr. Christopher Cortman has been a psychologist here on the Suncoast for nearly three decades. He says the images and stories do have an impact on our daily lives. "There is this kind of anxiety that takes over that there is no safe place."

After the September 11th attacks, Dr. Cortman says all sorts of people who were never there and had no ties came to see him. Still they were stressed. He says the best thing we can all do as a society is to face it head on. "You might just have to talk about how enraged you feel that this has happened to other children. Sometimes you have to talk about your fear that your children are growing up in a world like this that is so dangerous."

With a nation in mourning perhaps tears are the best medicine. "Most people don't understand and it is very simple. The expression and release of human emotion is curative. We can feel better because we express and release our feelings."

Trying to cope and process such a sad situation as healthy as possible. "We cannot hold onto resentment or hatred or bitterness. That is a cancer that we want to work through."

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