The Tyre Nichols video may cause forms of trauma
The beating and killing of Tyre Nichols is the latest tragedy to be caught on video, exposing the realities of a tragic event and often leaving viewers upset or traumatized.
Tragic news events can be difficult to process, even when you aren’t involved directly. You may even show signs of stress and trauma.
“These signs can show up immediately or after a few weeks since watching the video,” explains Felicia Houston, faith and mental health program specialist at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. “People can experience forms of post-traumatic stress disorder from watching the distressing videos.”
Houston says that symptoms of stress and trauma can include trouble sleeping, continuously replaying the events in your mind and feeling jumpy, restless and moody.
If you’re concerned about how the video might affect your mental health but still want to be informed, it might be best to read news coverage rather than watch the video itself. Or you could limit how much news content you consume. Houston understands, of course, this can be difficult in a world where your social media feeds can serve up disturbing images in an instant without warning.
So how can you protect your mental health while using technology? Houston provides the following tips:
- Take care of yourself – Maintaining your routine can be helpful and act as a distraction from technology.
- Ask for help if needed – Traumatic events like Nichol’s murder can lead to emotional, physical and behavioral reactions. If it’s an emergency, seek medical attention immediately for assistance.
- Limit screen time – If possible, avoid constantly reading the news.
- Limit social media – Similarly, this can help you avoid repeated exposure to traumatic news.
- Lean on your support system – Your loved ones may also exhibit symptoms of a trauma response. Sharing your feelings may help both of you cope.
Find behavioral health treatment and programs near you. Learn more about your options: Illinois | Wisconsin.
Thanks for acknowledging this event and offering practical insights.
You definitely don’t need to feel compelled to watch every police abuse video that’s published. Protect your mental health! Once you see some things you can never unsee them. That is why I don’t watch these horrific videos. I have plenty of other less trumatic ways of having my day ruined, thank you. I’ll follow the story to some degree by reading news reports, but I have a short limit. I won’t allow myself to be consumed by all of that. Please don’t feel compelled to go along with the crowd. Know and respect your limits.