Psychologist shares ways to cope with stress about Memphis police body camera video

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 9:42 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - People across the nation are regretting they watched the disturbing footage coming from the Memphis Police Department that shows five officers confronting Tyre Nichols which ultimately led to his death.

Now that they’re out, the videos are stirring up a lot of negative emotions.

A local psychologist says you may feel anxiety, dread, or even a sense of numbness but there is a way to handle it all in a healthy way. It starts with being self aware and knowing what to look out for.

“It’s very normal for this to be incredibly stressful,” said Dr. Kristin Powell, a clinical and consulting psychologist. “Looking out for those signs like feeling anxious, jumpy, maybe restless, even feeling numb can be a sign and symptom of experiencing too much stress.”

Dr. Powell says there can be a lasting and even traumatic effect on your mental health. Some even more than others.

“There has been some research to show that black Americans can continue to be effected by fatal encounters with the police and watching videos of things like that -- even weeks and months after they’ve occurred,” she explained. “So it can have a spillover effect and even a compounding effect because it’s not just about the one video. It’s about the series of things that have happened that people have born witness to over time.”

Dr. Powell says if you’re feeling the heaviness of the situation, there are steps you can take to relax such as getting outside and getting some air. She also suggests taking a break from social media and seeking support from other people.

“I think this is a really important time to check in and take care of yourself but also connect with others who can help you with the journey as well,” said Dr. Powell.

Another helpful outlet, Dr. Powell encourages you to get involved with social justice and human right organizations if you’re hurting. She says it’s important to be connected with groups and causes you believe in, especially during times of crisis.

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