Take time to reflect on your healing story. Write it down, if it helps, or draw it, paint it. Express all of the feelings wrapped into your experience of the healing process, and know that in doing so, we all heal. We all move closer to wellness.
We can't stop feeling stressed. What we can do this year is prime our brains so that stress is no longer something to fear, but rather a sign of something we need to pay attention to, and a chance to figure out how we want to spend each precious moment.
Feeling powerlessness is real. Being powerless is real. And acknowledging it can grow us. But let it lead you not to despair or destruction, but toward honoring yourself. Channel your powerlessness to bolster your strength, resources, authority, and capacity to act.
The power of community and of multidimensional connectedness cannot be overstated. It is healing in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. It is good for all of us, witnesses to unspeakable tragedy. It inspires us to realize how precious our lives are, to realize that peace begins with us.
During this time following the Newtown tragedy, people may find that they have a hard time "shutting their brains off." The more they fight to quiet their minds, the more they struggle to sleep. The goal in this situation is to prevent the acute problem from developing into a chronic problem.
Loss -- albeit much less tragic -- is inevitable, natural and something we all face. While dealing with a loss is never easy, it can be peculiarly disorienting for children, who are developing emotionally and have fewer past experiences to relate to.
A coherent narrative helps us to integrate new information with what we already know, so that we can heal and move on. The only way I can formulate a coherent narrative about this tragedy is if all of us, collectively, use this event as a catalyst for change.
Regarding the role of the National Rifle Association in a nation that has witnessed far too many killings of far too many innocents, in a nation with far too many of the kind of weapons that are best left to Navy SEALs killing enemy terrorists, I write today to reach out.
A tragedy like Sandy Hook can tend to solidify people's fears and prejudices about mental illness. So it is of vital importance that we, as a community, re-dedicate ourselves to eliminating the stigma that affects 1 in 4 people in our country.
For a period of time, we forgot about online predators and scary people lurking around the mall, and instead re-evaluated that the one place where we send our kids to learn, socialize and grow up is not without risk.
That's no small achievement, even if it happens just some of the time. Looking back that may be one of the most satisfying ways by which you measure your life. In that spirit, let's take every opportunity to support others in savoring this holiday.
Reassurance is what a child needs during this time. Reassurance that Mommy and Daddy aren't leaving them. Reassurance that law enforcement is doing everything to prevent similar crimes, and reassurance that there are more good people in the world than evil.
At this point, any comment on the psychiatric profile of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old man responsible for these murders, is complete hearsay. By themselves, these traits do not indicate any diagnosis at all, although we have been quick to dissect them in the search for meaning.
Without doubt, parents, teachers, neighbors, first responders and all of the bereaved are likely already dealing with acute sleep disorders, including insomnia, as the shock of the event fades into insurmountable grief.
Our culture, in which the draw of violence is turbo-charged, glamorized and commercialized, clearly plays a pivotal role in the psychological problems of an alarmingly growing number of young men who commit wanton murder.
We don't necessarily "recover." We may never "get over it." Instead, we may wrap ourselves in the wisdom gained from loss. We may learn that life means even more to us than we realized before our loved one was taken away.
The research for the film began to have an effect on me. Pretty soon, I found myself having trouble falling asleep. As I replayed certain events that had been revealed to me over and over in my head, I began to see images from my own childhood.
On a recent Friday, a psychiatrist and a team of medical students traveled to the Far Rockaways in Queens to provide mental health assistance to survivors of Hurricane Sandy. Their work did not involve psychotherapy or diagnoses, but rather tending to the immediate needs of survivors.
How we experience the circumstances of our lives often determines whether or not we find them traumatizing. The presence of caring adults who help children to decode the ever-unfolding situations of their worlds is a great protective buffer for the child.