When the News Triggers Your PTSD

July 20, 2016

After my daughter died, my doctor told me that PTSD was a possibility, “It’s like you’ve been to war,” she explained. We are loss mom warriors. We have been to battle, and some of us do get PTSD.

I started having anxiety and nightmares. I started avoiding situations. I was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Turns out that I’m not the only one that’s lost a baby that deals with PTSD. Not all of us do, from what I’ve read, that’s because of our own background, and we all just react differently.

Sometimes my stress and anxiety are worse, like when something awful happens.

Last month, someone walked into a theater with adults, children and babies and started shooting. Twelve people died and many, many others were hurt.

It was all over my social networks, as it should have been. I understand that we as a society need to talk about, process and heal together. I felt my chest getting tight. I was triggered.

I tried to avoid coverage of the event that day, but a show I was watching ended and a news program began. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t handle listening, but couldn’t make myself move to change the channel.

I’m not a therapist or an expert, so I don’t have all the answers about how we as PTSD loss moms can handle awful news events. I like to be up-to-date on world events, but find that I can’t watch the news so much anymore. I truly think this is one of those situations that involves seeking out an expert. I’m looking for a therapist with experience treating grieving moms and people that have PTSD.

My thoughts go out to the victims and families of the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings. They also go out to any loss mom that watched the coverage of the shootings, or any other awful news event and felt like she’d been punched in the gut. Take good care of yourselves.

Do you suffer PTSD after your child’s death? How have you dealt with it? 

  • Kristine Brite McCormick is mom to Cora, who passed away at five days old of undetected congenital heart disease. She lives in Indiana with her husband and two dogs. You can read more about Kristine and Cora at her blog.


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