Healing from a High School Tragedy

by drlazarus on February 10, 2014

A child’s teenage years are supposed to be carefree, fun and filled with delightful memories. However, when a tragedy occurs in a teenager’s life, all of the joy of adolescence is replaced with feelings of grief, anxiety and sadness. Going forward after a traumatic experience is hard for anyone, but it can be especially difficult when you are young. If you are a teen who has recently dealt with trauma, the tips below will help you move on.

1. Talk about your feelings.

If you have survived a tragedy, such as the recent shooting right here at Arapahoe High School, you need to talk about the way the experience affected your life. Were you friends with any of the victims? Did you know the person who committed the crime? Talking about your personal experience with the tragedy will help you move on from it. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, consider making an appointment with a professional, such as a teen psychologist.

2. Connect with others.

After dealing with a tragedy, you may feel like you have no one to turn to. In some cases, you may even feel like you want to be by yourself. However, isolating yourself from others is not the best way to deal with your feelings. In order to repair the emotional damage, you must reach out to others for support. Spend time with friends and family, talk to other people who were affected by the tragedy and do your best to get back to your normal activities.

3.  Try to get your life back to normal.

With all of the stress of the event, it is easy to get off your normal sleep routine and eating schedules.  Try to get a good nights sleep every night.  Even if you are not hungry, try to eat three times a day to help regulate your body.  If you are having trouble sleeping, this is normal.  However, talk with your parents if it continues for more than three days.

4. Give back to the community.

One of the best ways to truly heal from a tragedy is to give something back. Find a way to turn this negative experience into something positive. Examples of giving back include pursuing service-related careers, getting involved in community service or simply sharing your experience with others who are dealing with tragedies of their own.

Even with the best coping strategies, it’s never easy to overcome a tragedy in your life. If you or someone you love is having a hard time because of a recent traumatic experience, don’t hesitate to get the help you need. Have your parents contact a qualified child psychologist to begin the healing process.

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