a break from bad news

[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

source : mdn.mainichi.jp

Kaleidoscope of the Heart:
Take a break from bad news

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

At the Tokyo hospital I work at, many patients have come in with complaints after the earthquake. "I can't sleep because of the frightening aftershocks," they say, or "I can't ride in elevators," they say, because they are afraid the power will cut while they are inside.

However, I also hear complaints that are not directly related to the disaster, like, "For some reason I can't stop crying," "I get irritated without good reason," or "I keep standing up and sitting down and can't relax."

Even though they are not in the disaster areas, these people have been exposed to a long shower of images and words about the disaster, which has probably tired their minds and bodies.

I say to these people, "Let's try staying away from television and the Internet for a while and spending some time listening to the music you like, reading the comics you like, making cakes, or doing whatever you did in your free time before all of this."

One person argued against my recommendation: "But doctor, even if I temporarily spent some time relaxing like that, it doesn't change the fact that the earthquake happened. My mother's hometown was badly damaged. No matter how much I escape into fun things, when I am pulled back into reality nothing will have changed.
Wouldn't I become even more depressed?"

Indeed, that is one view. However, I still think that escaping into recreation is good. With a disaster this large, obviously people within the disaster area have been hit hardest by far, but even those outside those areas have been emotionally hurt. It may take a long time to make a true recovery, and it is necessary to take small rests. Be it 30 minutes or an hour, get away from the reality in front of you and immerse yourself in the world of a video game or a TV series. Take your time drinking a cup of tea and say out loud, "Ahh, this is good." Even if it's only for that time, you can put a stop to feelings of uneasiness and hopelessness.

Resting oneself this way, even if it's an escape into a fantasy or virtual world, will give one strength to recover. If people spend 24 hours a day looking at nothing but sadness and struggle, it will wear down their emotional energy, and it could delay their recovery to their normal selves. I believe that having a brief time of fun, even if some might consider it self-deceit, will prepare one to face the future in a positive way.

The reality we are confronted with will not go away any time soon. Neither, perhaps, will the bad feelings that accompany it.
Even so -- no, I should say "because" of that --
we should take a brief escape from reality.
That is my recommendation.


Tuesday, March 29


[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]

No comments:

Post a Comment