ORLANDO, Fla. – Mental health professionals say feeling anxious or even traumatized after Monday night’s fireworks scare in downtown Orlando is completely warranted.
Shantala Boss, a licensed counselor, said with all of the violence happening around the country, it makes sense that people are feeling a heightened sense of fear. She said sometimes people do not realize their mindset has been impacted after experiencing something disturbing.
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“Nobody is crazy because they are scared or anxious. Everyone has a right to those feelings, and it’s okay to feel that way,” Boss said.
Jenifer Garrido, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of Anxiety Treatment Center of Orlando, said anxiety is a normal human emotion — especially now.
“We live in a world where we could be in a church, we could be in a mall, we could be anywhere, and suddenly our life is in jeopardy,” Garrido said.
She said the constant reminder of violence in our communities can be triggering and cause people to become hypervigilant.
“We almost expect something bad to happen,” Garrido said.
In these situations, Garrido said it is often inevitable that people’s mindsets will be affected. She stated one of the keys to coping after a scary experience is communicating.
Garrido recommended seeking therapy, opening up to family and friends, and practicing mindfulness.
Both Garrido and Boss said people should not live in a state of fear.
Boss said people should not avoid gatherings. Instead, learn your triggers and prepare ahead of any event.
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