Helping Your Family Cope with Catastrophes by KNSD NBC 7

Helping Your Family Cope with Catastrophes by KNSD NBC 7

Clark Smith, M.D. offers some advice for those who may be experiencing disaster fatigue.


KNSD: In order to help you out to help you with some questions you might have.
we’ve asked Dr. Clark Smith — we’ve asked you many times to help us emotionally and mentally with this… it’s almost inescapable now a days with all the screens, it’s all over the place with the mass shootings in this country… so when people say enough is that okay to feel that way and to stop feeling sympathetic.

Dr. Clark Smith: No I don’t think we stop feeling sympathetic. But we do reach the point of burnout. Our response to emergency is a jolt of adrenaline so we can jump into action. But emergency after emergency after a while it burns you out.

KNSD: So what do you do?

Dr. Clark Smith: Well first of all you need to take a break from it like you said. getting some exercise just changing the subject for a bit is really important because we have 24 hour coverage but you don’t have to watch it.

KNSD: I have a toddler. and right now I don’t need to explain anything to him but in the future these things are going to keep happening. what specific advice do you tell parents at different age groups of children for what to tell them and how to discuss strategies like this.

Dr. Clark Smith: I did some field research to prepare for today. I talked to an 11 year old and a 5 year old and the 11 year old is very worried. she’s afraid that something bad is going to happen especially in crowds especially if you’re just trying to relax. She’s afraid something will happen to her parents. I let her talk about it but after awhile I change the subject because she was getting overwrought. she needed break from it. The five year old said, What’s Las Vegas so we didn’t talk about it anymore.

KNSD: We’ve been telling people that when it comes to children to not bring it up. let them bring it up first.. is that what you think?

Dr. Clark Smith: Yes if they are not thinking about it i… we shouldn’t make them think about it. I tell you what though… adolescence kids junior high kids… they’re talking about it… whether they tell us or not.

KNSD: Especially seeing the images that are everywhere… sometimes those are more damaging.

Dr. Clark Smith: Often they stay away from the news but they get it on their screens.

KNSD: Especially now a days with social media and they share with each other. Alright Dr. Smith thanks so much for coming in today.

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