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Earthquake, and Tsunami, and Meltdown Oh, My!

Mental Health humor Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan depressing newspaper social media

Charlie: Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan… This news is SO depressing! Did you see the newspaper?

Raff: No… But I got 50 tweets, 15 FB Updates, 20 IM’s, 16 texts, watched 18 iPad videos and downloaded 6 News feed App’s for my ipod.

Title: Old Triggers, Meet Live Triggers.

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What is a Trigger?

University of Alberta wrote about Triggers:

A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.

Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people…  [You may want] to avoid situations and stimuli that she/he thinks triggered the flashback. She/he will react to this flashback, trigger with an emotional intensity similar to that at the time of the trauma. A person’s triggers are activated through one or more of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

On March 11th, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan setting off a massive tsunami!  Now, the official missing numbers are over 10,000 with over 1000 confirmed dead. Also, the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan lost power and engineers there are racing to prevent a core meltdown.  It might already be too late at one or two nuclear power plants.  As of 8 a.m. EST Sunday morning, they are saying that there is partial meltdown and are evacuating a 20 mile radius.

Some immediate reactions to the Earthquake, and Tsunami, and Meltdown: Oh, My!  After watching the hours of media coverage, you may feel numb, or have a variety of emotional responses or reactions including disbelief, acute distress and even a helpless anger.

Seeing and reading about all these disturbing events adds extreme emotional stress to the point of triggering depression and anxiety for the viewer.  If you have friends or family in Japan, the triggers are no doubt more extreme.  If this describes you, and watching and reading bad news about disasters negatively affects you…You may want to avoid the excess of all the media coverage!  By limiting your exposure, you will reduce the emotional attachment to the events that are being streamed live by different social medias.

You may want to avoid all the sites online that are showing you the devastation in Japan.  Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, all have many pages dedicated to the event… There are too many ways to get instant info to the point of major overload.  In this situation “ignorance is bliss.”

I’m not saying you should eliminate all means of bad news, since being up- to- date on current events can be helpful. What I’m talking about is the overload, the extreme constant media feed and blow by blow of the disaster.

Aristotle said: Happiness depends upon ourselves. If we control just a little of this media blitz, we may be able to avoid the many triggers that come with the Japan disaster.



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Earthquake, and Tsunami, and Meltdown Oh, My!

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels).

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2011). Earthquake, and Tsunami, and Meltdown Oh, My!. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 7, 2019, from


Last updated: 13 Mar 2011
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