‘Nobody’s mad because they’re scared’: Mental health experts validate post-fireworks trauma frenzy

ORLANDO, Florida. – Mental health professionals say feeling anxious or even traumatized after Monday night’s fireworks scare in downtown Orlando is entirely justified.

Shantala Boss, a licensed counsellor, said with all the violence happening in the country, it makes sense that people are feeling a heightened sense of fear. She said sometimes people don’t realize their mindset has been affected after experiencing something upsetting.

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“Nobody is mad because they’re scared or anxious. Everyone is entitled to those feelings, and it’s okay to feel that way,” Boss said.

Jenifer Garrido, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of the Orlando Anxiety Treatment Center, said anxiety is a normal human emotion, especially now.

“We live in a world where we could be in a church, we could be in a mall, we could be anywhere, and suddenly our lives are in danger,” Garrido said.

She said the constant reminder of violence in our communities can be triggering and cause people to become hypervigilant.

“We almost expect something bad to happen,” Garrido said.

In these situations, Garrido said it’s often unavoidable that people’s mindsets will be affected. She said one of the keys to coping after a scary experience is communication.

Garrido recommended getting therapy, opening up to family and friends, and practicing mindfulness.

Both Garrido and Boss said people shouldn’t live in a state of fear.

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The boss said people shouldn’t avoid gatherings. Instead, learn your triggers and prepare before any event.

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