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War concerns taking toll on Americans' mental health

Posted at 5:48 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 08:48:06-04

President Biden says he will not send American troops into Ukraine or it would be World War III but concerns that Russia could use chemical weapons remain. Local psychologists say those fears are really taking a toll on people's mental health here at home and the topic is coming up with nearly every client.

ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Emily Bashah says the building tension is bringing up a lot of deep feelings and questions. People are more often wondering what they're doing with their lives, and asking: are they doing enough to create a better world for their kids?

Dr. Bashah says a lot of people just went through this with COVID-19, experiencing feelings the world was unsafe and the loss surrounding it.

She says instead of focusing on fear, we should use the perspective to reevaluate the quality of our lives and how to improve them.

"Foster and create change in a way that can impact your life and your environment and your community in a way that's within your means to do so. That is your part and that is your talent and that's what you have control over. I think that's going to help people feel less helpless about the future." said Dr. Bashah.

She says she is also seeing more people volunteer in their own communities, being more deliberate about expressing gratitude, and placing more value on who they spend time with — all ways she says can help temper anxiety.