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After Tagedy, Don't Obsess, Heal Gently

Editor's note: Deepak Chopra is the founder of the Chopra Foundation and the author of more than 70 books. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and adjunct professor of executive programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, among other posts.


(CNN) -- Two reactions seize people in the face of a horrific event like the mass murder of little children in Newtown, Connecticut. The first is shock, the second is a rush into activity.
The reason we rush into activity is to escape the numbness of shock and the pain that follows it. But if we bury ourselves in every detail of the story, staying glued to the TV, reliving the event in our imaginations and obsessing over the meaningless of violence, we may be working against the healing process rather than helping it.


Medical science knows a lot more about the effects of trauma on the brain than it did even five years ago. One salient point is that post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects not just the immediate victims of violence, whether in war or the result of crime, but also bystanders and witnesses.


Another discovery is that brain trauma causes abnormal activity in at least three areas of the brain. The amygdala, responsible for emotions, is over-activated. The hippocampus, responsible for short-term memory, starts to recycle the traumatic event obsessively. The prefrontal cortex, especially in the area that mediates emotions, becomes weaker.


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Peace Be With You!\nThank you, Dr. Chopra!\n
Your Spiritual Friend - December 27, 2012
In the United States five times as many people were murdered by bare hands and baseball bats as with rifles. It is a good idea to liberalize gun laws - liberals should favor liberalization - and ban baseball bats and bare hands.\n\nNo assault rifle shot Ronald Reagan\nNo assault rifle shot John Lennon\nNo assault rifle shot Gabriella Giffords\nNo assault rifle shot John Kennedy\nNo assault rifle shot Bobby Kennedy\nNo assault rifle shot Martin Luther King\n\nMost of the above were shot with common revolvers and bolt action rifles.\nThe ONLY difference between a so-called Assault Rifle and a semiauto hunting rifle is that the assault rifle has a plastic stock and pistol handle and the semiauto hunting rifle has a wood stock and revolver handle.\n\nNo Swiss male, most of whom have machine guns in their homes with children and women, killed anyone today.
RAND - December 26, 2012
Capri Adirim - December 19, 2012\n\n*\n\n\n\n*\n\\n•\n\n\n\n•\n\n\n\n\n\n\n•\n\n
Capri Adirim - December 19, 2012
Well said
Dawn Williamson Hartzog - December 18, 2012
Just BE. feel the pain.breathe. be kind. Do not just do it now. make it a life style. SET AN EXAMPLE TO THE WORLD , YOUR COMMUNITY IN YOUR HOME.
Deborah Tageson - December 18, 2012
the news coverage is going to drive us all is just for ratings..and over-dramatizing everything. We need REAL change..and thanks to the DIM-O-CRATS..that is 3 WHOLE yrs AWAY..grow up Democrats. We are so tonight..we have to sit and listen to TINT..(T.I\'s) dumbo wifey..on MTV..with a bunch of other dumb friends..talking abt. Donald Trump..calling him a LOSER..\"just like Mitt Romney\"..and SHE calls HIM a LOSER? She is trash..pure trash..couldn\'t work at McDONALDS..and we are force fed THESE losers day in day OUT in this country! I am sick of it! THIS is why nothing gets done..they are KILLING our youth..they all get tatoos and piercings..easily MIS-lead. STOP!
Nanci Humes - December 18, 2012
eyes of love
Eleni Solange - December 18, 2012