Are you troubled by watching the live feeds of the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting? It’s a snowy day out side and you can easily get caught up in the drama. Often when we are exposed to this type of trauma many people will suffer from Secondarytraumatic Stress ( STSD, a term used after the 911 attacks) and it might trigger some past trauma where you may experience some Posttraumatic Stress.

Many people report that writing about these traumatic thoughts can help. People dealing with the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD or STSD) may think that writing about something that was traumatic would be too stressful, but there are ways to do it that can actually help you.

For example, when writing about the event, describe how you felt physically. Was your heart pounding, did it make your head hurt, did your stomach drop, etc? This will help you identify how the PTSD makes you feel and make you more aware of how it is impacting your life. Keep the focus on how the event made you feel instead of the event itself. You cannot change what happened in the past, but you can try to change your reaction to it.

Some people find it helpful to read over their journal in the days following their writing. In addition, it helps to write about the same topic a few days in a row. Don’t think to yourself “I already said that. I should say something new.” Remember, no one is going to read this but you, so you don’t need to worry about how something looks or sounds. If grammar and punctuation are not important to you, don’t worry about them. Remember: the journal is for you!

If writing about the event makes you too anxious, stop right away and try to get some help. If you feel like you could benefit from learning more about your own symptoms, you can take a free, anonymous mental health self-assessment at www.dailybreadcounseling.org.