Healthy Living & Prevention in El Paso


Responses to distressing events on the news

Responses to distressing events on the news

11 Jun 2022 by Ted Escobedo   2 min read

In the wake of recent events, it is important to understand the common responses to international, national, or regional tragedies. Here are a few common reactions according to experts:

Dealing with your reactions

First, recognize that you have been exposed to an event and that it is bound to affect you in some way.Remember that there is no right or wrong way to think or feel about the tragedy and that any reaction you have is valid. Be accepting of your own feelings and reactions but understand that others around you may react to and cope with this event in ways that are very different from yours. You may feel that others are being inappropriately light-hearted or, conversely, are being more somber than you feel yourself. As much as possible, try not to be judgmental. All of us will find slightly different ways to deal with a crisis.

Talking to others about the event can be very helpful. Telling family or friends about your experience of the event and your feelings about it can be an important part of the recovery process.


  • Shock and disbelief. Immediately after learning about a disaster, many people may feel numb or feel like such an event can't be real. People may not realize immediately that they are having an emotional reaction.
  • Feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Profound feelings of loss: for loved ones or acquaintances, for your sense of safety, for the world as you knew it.
  • Speculating about what happened, and continuing interest in seeking more information such as listening to or watching the news, checking the web for updates, talking to others about what you each know or have heard.
  • Grief, sadness, anger, and/or outrage about the tragedy.
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