Columbus, OH,
15:54 PM

Columbus Dispatch & ABC6: Helping Children Deal With Traumatic Events

Mental Health Experts Say Take Things Seriously, Especially With Young People


The world today presents plenty of challenges. We have seen many attacks on not only American soil but around the world. From concert venues to public transportation, to even traumatic events at state fair sites, there is plenty out there, and much of it is now captured on camera for all to see.

That raises a question about how we handle these types of tragedies. It can be difficult. It can keep some of those memories with us for a long time, especially for our children.

"For instance, the Oklahoma City Bombings both children and adults in some cases were found to have developed anxiety and PTSD like symptoms," said Dr. Megan Schabbing, a psychiatrist with OhioHealth told ABC6.

That leaves parents many times wondering, what should I be looking for, and what do I do if I think these images are impacting my child.

"How did that make you feel do you have any questions about what happened," Dr. Schabbing says can be the starter conversation. "Look for warning signs for anxiety can include social withdrawal and disruption in sleep.  There can be inappropriate guilt or low self-esteem," she added.

There can be issues not just for young people, but for adults as well.

Take for instance the tragedy at this year's Ohio State Fair. A ride malfunction injured several, killing one.

With technology in just about everyone's hands these days, the tragedy was caught on camera and uploaded to the internet for all to see, and for all to watch over and over again.

Schabbing told the Columbus Dispatch that anxiety can be the number one problem for adults after witnessing a tragedy like this.

"Some people internalize problems, but if you have a history of being close to a trauma, or if you have a disorder, that person could be more likely to experience problems," Dr. Schabbing told Dispatch reporter JoAnne Viviano.

Schabbing suggests getting with a behavioral health expert early in the process, develop a plan for treatment, and don't let it sit. That could lead to PTSD problems down the line, if not dealt with early on.

To read the stories from ABC6 and The Columbus Dispatch, click the media company's logo.