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Friday, December 4, 2015 - 10:42am

Recent News Can Be Overwhelming; Here's How To Deal With It

Updated: 1 year ago.
Members of the media stage near site of yesterday's mass shooting on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 in San Bernardino, Calif. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire Wednesday on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Recent events in the news may have left you feeling overwhelmed. The shootings in San Bernadino, the attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, and attacks in Paris may not have affected you directly, but non-stop TV coverage and social media bring them closer.

How do you deal with it?

"It is a normal reaction to be horrified," says Seth Norrholm, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University. "it's a normal reaction to be fearful initially, it's a normal reaction to have that 'oh my god' moment when you see that. And that's when I'm saying it's important to have the follow-up internal dialogue or even external discussion that yes, this is another example of one of these events, but let's look at the evidence."

Norrholm says the statistical odds of something happening to you are quite low. "But we tend to think the frequency is greater than what it is. What typically tell people is maintain your daily activities. And it's not to say you're discounting what happened or the tragedies, and it's not say your're sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich." But irrational fear of a mass shooting or terror attack can snowball. That's why Norrholm says it's important to keep perspective...and stay away from 24 hour news coverage if you're anxious.