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Greenwich Doctor Discusses Emotional Aspects Of Metro-North Accident

Joyce Pere, MD, a psychiatrist at Greenwich Hospital.
Joyce Pere, MD, a psychiatrist at Greenwich Hospital. Photo Credit: Submitted

GREENWICH, Conn. -- The horrific and deadly Metro-North accident Tuesday in Valhalla, N.Y., has left folks shaken up, whether they commute regularly by train or not.

All of these feelings are normal, so allow yourself time to absorb and process them, said Dr. Joyce Pere, a psychiatrist at Greenwich Hospital .

"There is a wide range of emotions that people can have after a person has been exposed to a traumatic event as the Metro-North Valhalla train accident," she said.

"They can experience what is called Acute Stress Disorder or, if it goes longer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Feelings may include helplessness, intense fear, and horror along with increased anxiety, sleep disturbance, irritability, increased agitation, muscle tension, poor concentration, and hyper-vigilance," Pere said

As every individual is different, each experience is unique. Perhaps the best remedy is time, she said.

Communication is also key -- talking with others, and, if symptoms persist, seeking out therapy, Pere said. Coping skills such as using relaxing thoughts or images that bring up a peaceful place for you should also be used.

Although Pere wonders whether people will worry or wonder about riding in the first train again, where five people died in the crash, she does advise getting back to your normal routine as much as you can.

What is Pere's last takeaway? "If any symptoms persists, reach out to a psychiatrist for pharmaceutical agents that can be helpful."

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