The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Coping with crisis

By Ana Breton

Whether they were there, knew someone who was involved or had no connection with any of the victims, U students may be left with feelings of uncertainty in the midst of the Trolley Square tragedy.

The U Counseling Center wants students to know that these emotions — guilt, fear, thoughts of having a nervous breakdown or “going crazy” — are perfectly normal human reactions.

“Feeling like we’re having a breakdown is just our way of formalizing an abnormal situation,” said Lauren Weitzman, director of the Counseling Center. “You tend to feel unlike yourself when a lot of distress happens.”

Although people’s reactions vary, typical reactions of a trauma include: physically feeling fatigued or having difficulty sleeping; feeling anxiety, depression, anger or helplessness; noticing changes in your appetite or feeling “on the edge” and having unwanted thoughts or finding yourself unable to think about anything other than the incident.

Students who find themselves glued to the radio, television or the Internet in search of event coverage should not feed into the trauma too much, Weitzman said.

“It’s important to be informed,” she said, “but not to the point where you become overloaded and you become over-traumatized.”

Other things that might help students cope with traumatic stress include staying in touch with others, partaking in physical exercise and not becoming isolated.

Avoiding stressful situations, getting plenty of rest and delaying big decisions also reduce the symptoms of trauma, while maintaining a routine and productive lifestyle are important to keep life as normal as possible.

“You need to visit the basics so you can maintain the meaning in your life,” Weitzman said. “Having structure in life helps sooth all the disruption.”

Rob Davies, a psychologist with the Counseling Center, said although everyone had a different reaction to the Trolley Square incident, students can benefit from keeping a routine schedule.

“Some folks were impacted quite a bit and some not at all,” Davies said. “But you need to take time to feel grounded by taking control of your stress.”

Davies said that because of the recent shootings, the appointments at the Counseling Center have increased, but not to the point “where there’s a line going out of the office,” he said

Appointments and emergency crisis help is available at the Counseling Center at 581-6826. The Women’s Resource Center is also offering counseling at 581-8030.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *