Gun violence affects the lives of countless people across the United States, and unfortunately, cities like Beaumont or Port Arthur, Texas, are not immune. Exposure to gun violence can leave a person feeling unsafe and have a long-term impact on their mental health.
How gun violence affects the public’s mental health
It can feel like it’s impossible to escape news about gun violence. Police shootings, gang violence, domestic violence, and other crimes that use guns can challenge people’s faith in humanity, leaving them wondering why people can be so cruel.
The accounts of gun violence can have a more substantial impact when the victims are teenagers or children. It can leave parents terrified to send their children to school.
Whether a person is a victim of gun violence, saw a shooting, or has heard the news of a shooting, they can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
The aftermath of losing a loved one to gun violence
The emotional impact of losing a loved one to gun violence cannot be underestimated. It can result in intense emotions, like grief and anger, especially if the person feels that they have been let down by law enforcement, political figures, or those in the media who try to minimize the impact of gun violence.
The trauma surrounding losing a loved one to violent crimes is incredibly impactful to children who have developing minds. It can lead to an increase in the level of anger and withdrawal while at the same time desensitizing them to violence, making it easier for children to become violent themselves.
Empowering yourself in the aftermath of gun violence
Although hearing about gun violence can feel overwhelming and make a person feel helpless, consulting with mental health and legal professionals if you or someone you care about is a victim can help you protect yourself and those you love.
Experiencing gun violence is not natural. You need to be patient with yourself, connect with your emotions, and find healthy outlets to help yourself and those you love not become overwhelmed in the aftermath of gun violence.