Coping with the Boston Marathon Tragedy

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, April 16 2013 at 6:11 PM, Updated: Tue, April 16 2013 at 8:37 PM

Again tragedy has struck and again people are having difficulty understanding why.

"They were talking about the 8-year-old little boy, he was killed in it and I just...it's really sad," said Ashland resident Crystal Shroy.

"You see a lot of damage and destruction of people acting out. I really don't understand it," said Herb Courier who is a Central Point resident.

On Monday around 11:50 Pacific Time, two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon...killing three and injuring scores more...some of them losing limbs.

"It's very depressing that our world is coming to this, I'm just sad about it," Shroy reflected.

Sad and fearful...something Clinical Psychologist Douglas Col said is understandable.

"The thing about terrorism is that it works. It makes a lot of people afraid," said Col.

However, others we spoke with aren't letting the tragedy get to them.

"I can't let it paralyze what I'm doing in my normal day to day life. It's just a part of the world we live in unfortunately," Courier said.

The doctor says dealing with tragedy depends on something called coping resources.

"It's an internal capacity to deal with stress," he began.

"The fewer coping resources a person has, the more likely they are to have post-traumatic stress."

He said without the coping mechanism, fear can easily lead to anger.

"Then you've generated more of the anger that generates this type of thing in the first place."

So, in the midst of this difficult time, the best thing to do? Keep a good support system handy...family, friends or counselors.

NBC 5 tried to limit the use of graphic video showing blood and people in pain. That's because Dr. Col said it doesn't help to watch the footage over and over again...it may re-traumatize you and won't help the healing process.

Speaking of healing, a local running group, Southern Oregon Running Enthusiasts (S.O.R.E.), is hosting a trail run around Lost Creek Lake on Sunday, April 21st. They're doing it to raise money for victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. It's encouraged that people donate at least $1 for every mile they walk, run or hike, though donations are not mandatory. The group is meeting at 9:30am at Hawthorne Park in Medford to carpool. Visit their website for more information: http://www.meetup.com/SOREnthusiasts/events/114546352/

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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