According to a recent report released by NPR, gun violence is having devastating affects on society’s psychological wellbeing. The report draws attention to an alarming trend that is seeing an increase in gun violence, particularly mass-shootings, around the world. The report cites mental health professionals who are quick to point out the psychological damage, both short and long-term, that gun violence causes to people. In the immediate aftermath, survivors may experience fear and trauma, while in the long-term, gun violence may lead to chronic stress, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Moreover, the report points out that the effects of gun violence are not limited to those directly involved. Witnessing any kind of violence, be it gun violence or other forms of violence, can be an intense, distressing experience for many. It can lead to feelings of fear, isolation, shame, and helplessness. Furthermore, the report states that even those who don’t directly witness gun violence can still experience psychological distress. The constant exposure to reports, news coverage, or even discussions about these events can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
The report also discusses the wider consequences of gun violence. For instance, it highlights the fact that incidents of gun violence in the United States are frequently linked to the perpetuation of racism and poverty. Additionally, increased gun violence can discourage people from engaging in activities, such as going out in public, that are necessary for our psychological well-being, such as socializing and engaging in leisure activities.
Ultimately, this report makes it clear that gun violence has had a devastating effect on our society’s psychological well-being. While there is an urgent need for more research into the psychological effects of gun violence, it is now more important than ever to take action to reduce gun violence in our communities and to provide long-term mental health treatment for those affected by it.
How is gun violence impacting our psychological health as a modern society? NPR’s Ari Shapiro asks psychologist Erika Felix how we should be using treatment of ourselves amid plenty of stories of deadly mass shootings.
JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:
Even as the aspects go on to emerge from East Lansing, Mich., we’re reminded that the taking pictures there took area on the eve of the anniversary of another mass capturing. 5 years back currently, a gunman took the life of 17 individuals at a significant university in Parkland, Fla., and wounded 17 a lot more.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
These cycles of gun violence have an affect on psychological overall health, and that’s accurate considerably past the communities the place shootings have transpired.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)
ERIKA FELIX: You can liken these factors to, like, a ripple in a pond, the place it reverberates out further than the immediate affect. You can see the concentric circles rippling out from that.
CHANG: Erika Felix teaches psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Final thirty day period, she spoke with our colleague Ari Shapiro about the psychological toll of shootings.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)
FELIX: No matter if we witness it on the news or live in the group or we ended up there on-internet site, you can have a major elevation in thoughts of panic, fear, troubles with sleeping.
ARI SHAPIRO: Even if you might be not in the community, even if you you should not know the people today affected.
FELIX: Sure. When we are observing the news, we come to feel the distress. We have this empathy part of ourselves as human beings. But for some persons, primarily who professional the most losses, there is an greater probable for publish-traumatic strain problem or despair.
SHAPIRO: Of course, the excellent option would be to conclusion gun violence. But what particular actions can you suggest folks consider to minimize some of these unfavorable psychological consequences?
FELIX: Certainly. In the speedy aftermath, one particular of the essential issues is to get social support. We had a mass-murder tragedy influence our local community…
SHAPIRO: In Santa Barbara.
FELIX: …In Santa Barbara in 2014. So what men and women uncovered most handy was the activities where they arrived collectively as a community, that could even just be potluck and just be close to other individuals who are encountering related things.
SHAPIRO: Which is so exciting to me that a vigil, for example, is not just a clearly show of solidarity or a assertion of group. It can be really healing.
FELIX: It is. And in fact, when I surveyed our students at UCSB pursuing the mass-murder tragedy, that was one of the points they uncovered most valuable, and it was the most broadly attended. All of that stuff, students rated as really handy in their coping in the immediate aftermath.
SUMMERS: That was psychology professor Erika Felix, speaking with our colleague Ari Shapiro.
NPR transcripts are made on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may perhaps not be in its last variety and may perhaps be current or revised in the long term. Accuracy and availability may well change. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio report.