Advice on how to cope and recover from a traumatic experience

- On Monday, a traumatic event happened inside the front lobby of FOX 5 when police say a 38-year-old man forcibly entered the television station and was shot by a security guard.

It leaves employees and viewers alike dealing with a range of emotions and also raises a worthwhile question: when confronted with trauma, what is the best way to cope?

It is a question most people will face at some point in their lives. According to Dr. Lynn Bufka, the Associate Executive Director for Practice, Research, and Policy at the American Psychological Association, more than half of adults experience at least one traumatic event in their lives. It may be a shooting, like what occurred Monday at FOX 5, but it could be a car crash, a natural disaster or any number of other events.

So here’s how Bufka recommends handling it: First, talk about the trauma and get support. Also, take care of yourself – get some sleep, eat well, and exercise. And finally, Bufka recommends confronting the trauma head-on.

“To the extent possible, you don’t want it to stop your life,” she said. “Because you are going to need to go back to work or get in the car and drive on the highway. Those are things that we want to be able to do and if we continue to avoid them, then the traumatic experience continues to have a hold on us.”

For some people, getting professional treatment can be helpful as well, Bufka said.

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