I wanted to post again about trauma and PTSD. As I said above, June is PTSD awareness month. In light of the events in the news recently – from the Orlando mass shooting to the alligator attack on the two year old at a Disney World resort to the Mountain Lion attack of a 5 year old in Colorado and everything else – I think it is important to remember the difference between real and perceived danger. These events can make it very scary to go out – you might get attacked by an animal or get shot and killed. Is it safe to leave my house? Is it safe to go on vacation? Is it safe to let my child out of my sight? The advent of media has left us feeling so vulnerable. Within minutes of a tragedy, it is heard about all over the globe. The most important thing to remember is you ARE safe. You CAN safely leave your house, go to a club, party, vacation, etc safely and enjoy it. Think about it – how many people go to a club on a daily basis around the country? How many people go on vacation and come home safely daily? With media coverage, we are at risk of feeling afraid and “perceiving” danger where there is none. Remembering the difference of perceived and real danger is so vital to living a happy life. On the other hand, if the events of late (or any time frame) are causing you distress and you are having difficulty living life the way you want to, it is important to regularly use self-regulation strategies and reality based self-conversations with yourself (telling yourself you are safe for example), and if needed, seek help to get past some of the anxieties. Although a diagnosis of PTSD currently is not given just by hearing about a traumatic situation through media, all you have to do is think about a child who sees a scary movie and has nightmares about it, won’t sleep alone, and cries when you leave them alone, sometimes for several days afterwards to understand you don’t have to personally witness or be involved in something traumatic to be affected by it. You do not have to have a diagnosis of PTSD to have debilitating reactions associated by things seen in media. Make sure you listen to yourself – use your self-regulation strategies, get support from others, focus on things you enjoy, and get professional support if needed.