Bangkok Bombing Shock Effect: 5 Signs of Shock and 5 Techniques to Cope

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The August 17, 2015 Bangkok bombing has left many in shock. Edy Nathan MA, LCSW releases 5 signs of shock and 5 tools that may help counteract it.

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If you can identify the symptoms of shock and access coping mechanisms, Post Traumatic Stressors will not linger long after the trauma occurred.

The August 17, 2015 Bangkok bombing killed 25 people and wounded more than 125. The psychological toll this takes on the residents of Bangkok is far reaching. Shock tends to override fear. Shock is one of the most pervasive reactions to a traumatic situation. Edy Nathan MA, LCSW believes, “If you can identify the symptoms of shock and access coping mechanisms, Post Traumatic Stressors will not linger long after the trauma occurred.”

Here are 5 signs of shock to look out for and 5 tools to counteract physical and emotional effects of shock. If two of the symptoms co-exist it is possible that this is a shock reaction.

1. The heartbeat is rapid and sudden. When this occurs it is vital to calm the impact of the racing heart so it does not make an imprint on the body’s memory banks.
2. Profuse Sweating. It is apparent that clothing is wet, hair is moist, and palms are clammy and sticky.
3. A sense of confusion or not as perceptive or clear thinking as usual.
4. “If breathing is quicker and faster than normal or it is difficult to catch your breath, this often leads to anxiety and panic.” Nathan specifically addresses the aspect of breathing because the body latches on to the feeling of not being able to breathe normally and converts that feeling into physical and emotional anxiety.
5. Low urine output or none at all.

The 5 tools that will help to overcome and counteract the waves of shock:

1. To calm the racing heart one needs to focus on slowing it down. Counting is one of the best ways to do this. Imagine the number 20 is on a black board or being written in the sky. Then erase it. Imagine the number 19, and erase that. Write until there are no more numbers. The sooner this is done, the quieter the heart will become.
2. Profuse sweating also causes dehydration. Drink a lot of water. Be conscious of how fast or slow the breathing is. On the inhale, say to the self, “I am” and on the exhale say to the self, “Calm.” Take a cool cloth to the forehead, back of neck and bottoms of feet.
3. Get oriented to place and time. Find friends and family who can help bring back present focus. Nathan adheres to the necessity that to get out of the state of confusion it is vital to “bring the self to the present through awareness of the body, or by externally focusing on what is around you. Concentrate on one remembered moment, or a scent or the pattern on a piece of clothing.” Nathan emphasizes the importance of coming back to the self through one’s own personal knowledge and experiences.
4. Breathing is how people live. When it feels as if it is compromised, fear and anxiety are added agitators to the shock syndrome. Breathe in and hold the breath. If the lungs were not taking in a breath, then it would be impossible to hold it. Regulate the breath and the anxiety will dissipate around the sense of not being able to “catch” the breath.
5. If this occurs, see a doctor immediately. This could be shock or it could be something else.

The mind and body are resilient; there is nothing that rocks that resiliency with greater force than shock. When people are in the midst of war, it is often not the wounds that kill them, rather it is shock.

About Edy Nathan:
Edy Nathan is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in grief. For two seasons, she was the therapist on the A&E TV Show, “Psychic Kids." She holds Masters from both New York University and Fordham University. She has post-graduate training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, The Gestalt Center and the Jungian Institute. She is a certified EMDR practitioner, regression therapist, certified hypnotherapist, relationship and grief expert. To find out more, visit

For a complimentary meditation and more information about other topics related to grief, loss and trauma, please visit here.

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