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Bombings, ricin scares, explosions create disaster anxiety, fatigue

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For many in the D.C. area, a week filled with death, destruction, and the fear of terrorism has left them with emotional fatigue.

The events in Boston and Texas plus the concern over poisonous letters mailed to our region has taken a toll.

For some, these recent and repeated acts of destruction and anguish has been simply too much to bear. Some people tell ABC7 they cope by limiting their exposure to the overwhelming.

Dr. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, a leading expert on disaster psychiatry, suggests that if anxiety seeps in, talk about it, and above all, walk away when it's too much.

"Don't watch the photos over and over," Dr. Ritchie says. "Don't let your kids get online and watch the photos over and over."

The delicate balance between being informed and overwhelmed comes down to perspective. Where some see horror, others see hope.

And some compare the feelings this week to 9/11.

Dr. Ritchie also suggests that if one's anxiety, mood or work performance worsens over time after seeing and experiencing a trauma, consider talking with a medical professional.

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