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Events like Boston Marathon bombing can have psychological effect on everyone

Central and northern New York may be hundreds of miles from Boston, but there is still a psychological fallout for people in this region and across the country from the marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt. 

If you're feeling stressed with all the stories coming out of Boston in the wake of Monday's bombing, you're not alone.  Upstate Medical Center Psychiatry Chief Dr. Robert Gregory, says the story is bound to affect everyone.

"The events in Boston have shaken the foundations of our fundamental sense of security, and our expectations for safety and the security of our institutions.  And it takes time to process that, and put it into perspective."

The perspective, according to Gregory, is the fact you're more likely to be killed crossing the street than by a terrorist attack.   He says the best therapy to deal with this kind of stress  is to talk about your feelings.  And he says Facebook or Twitter might not be the way to get the stress out.

"Our limited experience and research in that area is that it's not as helpful to communicate through social media than it is person to person," said Gregory. "There still is something about real relationships that is really helpful for getting through trauma."

Gregory adds that following the events in social media can also cause additional stress.

"There's something, also, about social media that may even increase our panic level, and increase our obsessiveness. We can be, if we wanted, we could be totally bombarded with media stories on this, and rumors that have developed, and a sense of mass panic or hysteria develop. And may have a harder time maybe stepping back and saying, 'wait a minute, this is one event.'"

Gregory says news like this takes time to process, and people with a past history of trauma may be more susceptible to stress.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.