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2015年2月21日 (土)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:みなで支え合い心守ろう /東京

February 15, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: When the world goes to hell in a hand basket...
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:みなで支え合い心守ろう /東京

Tragedy follows heartbreaking tragedy. After the apparent murders of two Japanese men at the hands of the Islamic State militant group, a primary school fifth-grader was slain in a residential area in Wakayama Prefecture.

One visitor to my practice asked, "What can be done to protect kids from being exposed to such shocking news?" This was followed quickly upon by the admission, "Actually, I'm pretty messed up about it, too."
Whether it's a local incident or some terrible world event, it's important for adults to tell the kids around them, "Don't worry, I'll protect you whatever happens."

On top of that, it's best to maintain the family's daily routine. If a child says they're anxious or scared, give them every opportunity to talk about what's bothering them.

Even if you have nothing concrete to say in return, a simple, "So that's what you've been thinking" and similarly soft and gently encouraging remarks will help the child gradually sort through their feelings.

But then how are adults to reassure their kids while at the same time guarding the gates of their own hearts from terrible news and shocking images?  では、そうするためおとなはどうやって自分の心を守ればよいのか。

First and foremost, everyone needs a "somebody" to give them a helping hand.

A spouse or partner makes the best "somebody", but friends, parents or siblings can also likely be counted on to lend an ear.

There are some people out there who would say they have no one they can count on like that.

If you're one of them, you could turn to a teacher, a counselor or another professional shoulder to lean on, and get their help and advice.

Above all, however, it's important not to try to bear the impossible.

Some might say, "I can protect my child on my own," or, "I have to be happy and energetic in front of my kids." But that kind of load on just one pair of shoulders can lead you to a bad state.

Remember to relax. "The world may be a pretty dangerous place, but for now I'm just going to sit back and watch my favorite TV series." Everyone needs a little time like this.

Don't spend all your time looking at things that make you anxious. Instead, get out and about and get some exercise with your kids. Sweat a little, and return home tired but happy.

Of course, relaxing or getting your body moving may only stave off your worries for a time.

You may end your day wondering what horrific thing is going to happen next.

If that's the case, don't get yourself in a tizzy or blame yourself for lapsing back into anxiety. Rather, I think it's better to remind yourself that to worry about the world is natural.

Some of the folks coming to my practice recently simply cannot conceal their agitation, and I tell them this: "This is a little bit embarrassing, but I'm the same. Watching the news can get depressing, right?"

It's usually taboo for a psychiatrist to reveal emotional vulnerability to her patients, but in this case they almost all give me a look of relief.

"Huh, Dr. Kayama's the same," their faces seem to say. Exactly so. Everyone worries about what will become of our society.

The trick is to lend each other the support we all need, and live our daily lives without trying to do the impossible.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2015年02月10日 地方版


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