Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 25 October |
Saint of the Day: Sts Gavin, Protus, and Januarius
Aleteia logo

Violence Overload: After Paris and San Bernardino, Living “In a Different State of Mind”

SILVER SPRING, MD - DECEMBER 04: People participate in a candlelight vigil, held by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for the victims in recent mass shootings December 4, 2015 at the Muslin Community Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. On Friday the FBI announced that it is investigating the San Bernardino shooting on Wednesday as an act of terrorism. One of the two suspects, Tashfeen Malik, reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook on the day of the shooting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/11/15

Jaweed Kaleem at Huffington Postuncovers a widening stream of anxiety—and deeper awareness of our own mortality—in the American psyche:

A few days ago, while driving to a movie near his Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood, Patrick O’Malley suddenly feared for his life. “This could be risky,” O’Malley remembers telling his wife, thinking of the possibility of dying in a sudden, random mass shooting during the screening of he movie “Spotlight.” It was a particularly unusual feeling for O’Malley, a psychotherapist who has spent 36 years guiding patients with severe anxiety. Now, after a spate of mass violence in the U.S. and around the world, O’Malley had to treat himself. “We didn’t stop from going to the movie, but we were in a different state of mind,” he said. It’s a scene familiar to many Americans, played out over dinner conversations, Facebook statuses, and text messages since this week’s mass shooting that left 17 people dead and 21 wounded in San Bernardino, California, the latest in a string of mass violence in the U.S. Coupled with Friday’s FBI announcement that it was investigating the case as terrorism and that the one of the shooters, Tashfeen Malik, had pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group, fear of being killed in an attack has become pervasive for many Americans. But outside of the talk of reforming gun laws, the psychology of extremism and the battle waging over international terrorism, what effect is this amplified sense of mortality having on people? And what’s the average person to do about it? “With Paris, with Planned Parenthood, with so many of these events, there is his kind of PTSD by proxy of people who aren’t necessarily witnessing the trauma,” said O’Malley. “I’m seeing a preponderance of people dealing with anxiety and panic attacks from simply watching reports of the violence around us.” Americans’ perception of how to measure “what is really danger is a level of destabilization,” O’Malley said. “The physical mechanisms we use to address safety and danger are just upside down right now.”

Read the rest.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Marinella Bandini
Exclusive: Carlo Acutis as seen by his mother
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio replied to John Paul II’s letter with a miracle
Philip Kosloski
Meet Sandra Sabattini, a newly beatified 22-year-old
Theresa Civantos Barber
St. John Paul II’s perfect advice for lasting love in marriage
Cerith Gardiner
A collection of Pope John Paul II’s quotes on some of life’s most...
John Burger
Once considered for top post in Anglican Church, former bishop be...
Philip Kosloski
How kindness begins in your heart
See More