Monthly Archives: April 2013

Boston Bombing: The Psychological Side

Guest commentator Jenny Timms

 

The senseless violence at the Boston Marathon is yet another reminder of the fragility of life. One moment in time and your whole world can change forever.  The families who lost relatives to this cowardly act will never view life the same. Every milestone will be another moment lost with their loved one.  Martin Richard was just 8 years old. His father is a leader in the local community and was running the marathon. Richard, his sister, and mother were there to watch the race. The kids were probably excited to see Daddy run across the finish line. Sadly, Richard will never see another race, and due to her injuries, his 5-year-old sister may never run one.  While her wounds will heal and surgeons will outfit her with a prosthetic leg to replace the one she lost in the carnage, the emotional devastation may have an impact beyond repair.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that may occur after a traumatic event. This little girl is sure to suffer from the effects of watching her family be torn apart for the rest of her life and it is with great hope that her family finds her the best help possible. While she will never “get over” the trauma, she can learn skills to cope with her memories and fears.

PTSD can also be triggered by watching the evening news, scrolling down a webpage, or reading a newspaper. Seeing the pain and anguish of those suffering a current event may trigger feelings from a past trauma. For instance, many responders, racers, and spectators at the Boston Marathon still harbor anxiety and fear related to the 9/11/01 bombings in New York City, the Pentagon, and Virginia.  Several college students at nearby Boston College were elementary children living in New York at the time. The memories flooded them as they recalled the sights, sounds, and smells of the city on that day.  The smoke and sense of panic during this most recent act of aggression was a grim reminder of the helplessness our nation felt back in 2001.

One of the medical personnel stationed near the finish line compared the two explosions to the blast of an IED he witnessed while stationed in Iraq.  This is common among military, especially those who have served in times of war.  In fact, military.com reports that nearly 30 percent of the men and women who serve in a war zone will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. Treatment for PTSD may include medication, psychotherapy, or cognitive behavior therapy. However, it is important to remember that each patient is different and no one form of treatment will work for everyone.

PTSD has only been recognized since 1980; therefore the stigma of a diagnosis is very much a problem in our society. Before the recognition of PTSD, it was thought that anyone who suffered psychological damage as a result of war or any other traumatic event was “weak” or unable to “deal” with his or her feelings. In the years since its recognition, we have come to realize that no one should be made to feel like less of a person because of the feelings he or she may experience. Unfortunately, we cannot control our emotional reaction to a traumatic event and sometimes that trauma is overwhelming and so severe that a lasting response occurs. PTSD is treatable; it is common, normal, and very much a part of our lives. Until the violence and turmoil that causes PTSD is stopped, the need for treatment and education remains.

Classik Hard Drive Invades Happy Dayz

Dade City – Owners of Happy Dayz in Dade City decided to give back to their regulars and draw in new guests by bringing in local rock band sensation, Classik Hard Drive. Many may recall the band opening for Teer at a benefit concert earlier in the year that raised thousands. But on Saturday night, it was all about the patrons and a great night of fun and music.

With no cover charge, party-goers were in for a treat.

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Classik Hard Drive

Happy Dayz is the type of place where the hair is let down and the feet kicked up. The staff is personable, and the owners are hands-on, always with an open-door policy to all that stop by. This type of operating style creates an atmosphere that’s not only relaxing, but also an easy venue to meet new people or make new friends.

Like to play pool? They have several tables to choose from. There’s always competition standing by to greet players looking to hone their skills or have a friendly matchup. Call or stop in for more information about weekly pool tournaments.

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Stop in for a round of pool

If you like to sing, there’s also karaoke 2 or 3 days a week; and if you can’t sing, that’s okay too. It’s all about having a great time with great people. Nobody will judge.

I’m officially a return guest of Happy Dayz, as my girlfriend and I consider it our place of choice for a stress-free avenue to have a drink and meet up with friends. We’ve tried the rest, and chose the best.

A big round of applause to not only Classik Hard Drive, but also the owners, who thank their customers with one class act after another.

See you at Happy Dayz!

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Pasco High School Vandalized

Dade City – Under the cover of darkness, vandal’s went beyond pranking when a stolen vehicle was left in a common area of the school. The perpetrators removed the wiring from the car in an effort to make it difficult to move. Dade City Police investigators were on the scene before student’s arrived for classes, delaying lessons for up to an hour as evidence was collected.

Authorities also said toothpicks and glue were jammed into locks and door knobs, as well as graffiti referencing ZHS and PHS, with the year 2013. Investigators and school officials theorize the vandals were referring to the rivalry between Zephyrhills High School and Pasco High School.

Dade City Police are anxious to make an arrest in the case. No monetary amount of the damage has been announced, but officials indicated there’s a reward of up to $1000 leading to the arrest of the culprits.

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Tipsters are urged to contact Crime Stoppers with any information in the case at (352) 797-8477.

 

Sources: TBO.com-Picture from WFLA.com

Pastor Rick Warren: Suicide not political

Guest Commentator, Jenny Timms

Prominent pastor Rick Warren lost his son to suicide over the weekend. As tragic as that event is, the outpouring of hatred toward the Warren family during their time of grief is sickening.  The bottom line is that this man lost his child. His religious, political, or personal beliefs are irrelevant at this time; he has lost his child. The same child he watched come in to this world, he has to bury. It has been said that no parent should have to bury their child. This writer would like to add that no parent should have to bury their child under the scrutiny of the media and the cowards who spew venom while hiding in cyberspace.

As I’ve written before, the suicide of a famous person (or their child) may cause the Werther Effect, or copycat suicides.  Suggesting that Matthew Warren’s death was the result of his father’s inability to accept homosexuality is simply irresponsible. Regardless of the news reports that are certain to surface in the next few days Pastor Warren could not have caused, nor prevented, his son’s death.

To say that suicide is tough on the family would be an understatement. Suicide is devastating to the family. The loss of a loved one is overshadowed by the questions that linger. What could we have done differently? What drove him or her to such lengths? Why did he/she choose this over me? The Warren family faces a long road ahead in learning to accept that these questions have no answer and that the mental illness their son suffered was not the result of anything that could have been prevented.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among persons aged 10 and older, according to the Center for Disease Control.  Left untreated or under-treated, suicide accounts for approximately 15 percent of deaths among those diagnosed with clinical depression.  The statistics are not biased toward Pastor Warren; they do not reflect his position as a religious figure or harbor any animosity toward him because of his beliefs. In other words, the devastating effects of suicide know no boundaries.

Dade City Sinkhole Opens

Residents are breathing a sigh of relief after a small sinkhole opened in the middle of Delmar Street, but didn’t expand over 3 feet in width.

Dade City police blocked the area off until public works could arrive at the scene near the intersection of Taylor Avenue to assess the small opening in the road. Located next to a water treatment facility, Dade City Public Works supervisor Donnie Shive explained that the hole will not likely grow. “We’ll fill it with grout and that should stop any further damage to the road,” he said.

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Officials respond quickly to small, Dade City sinkhole

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Small sinkhole not expected to grow

Western Florida residents have been on edge over the past couple of months after a rash of sinkholes, one of them deadly. Recently, a Seffner, Florida man was consumed by a sinkhole when it opened beneath his bedroom floor. He was never found.

Small sinkholes are a nuisance but can be filled and deemed safe most of the time. However, they can be a danger to curious children and should be reported right away. Contact your public works office or local police department if a sinkhole is discovered, no matter the size.