Images Related to Newtown School Shooting Difficult for Adults, Parents To Absorb

"I'm hurting, just as a lot of people out there,” says Layren Alpizar, a mother of two in Miami Lakes

By Jawan Strader
|  Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012  |  Updated 6:41 AM EDT
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South Florida parents speak with their children about the Connecticut shooting and psychologist Dr. Delphina Thomas says adults need a break from violent images.

South Florida parents speak with their children about the Connecticut shooting and psychologist Dr. Delphina Thomas says adults need a break from violent images.

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For many people, the images out of Connecticut are heartwrenching.

From the faces of the young victims to photos of helplessness and agony, adults and parents have been taking in tough images since the news of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown broke on Friday.

"I'm hurting, just as a lot of people (are) out there,” Layren Alpizar says. “I didn't know any of them, but I can't imagine what they are going through. I don't want to, I don't know."

Even though she lives in Miami Lakes, far from the tragedy in Connecticut, the mother of two has spoken to her children about the school shooting.

But it’s difficult for her to think about the victims, and her own family.

"I don't think I can survive if something like that were to happen to me and my kids,” she said.

Moment of Silence for Newtown Victims in Miami-Dade Schools

And since it’s the holidays, Alpizar said she actually feels a sense of guilt when thinking about the shooting.

"I feel sad, I feel like I don't have the right to celebrate when they're going through this. It’s hard,” she said.

That feeling is not unusual for adults, especially parents, when they constantly see painful images, says adult psychiatrist Dr. Delvena Thomas.

"Someone can react and develop anxieties or even depression or low mood because of the imagery that we see on television,” she said.

Just like kids, adults need a break from painful, sometimes violent images, Thomas said.

"Small doses are better than seeing the images over and over, and learning about each individual and learning their personal history,” she said.

Complete Coverage of the Newtown School Shooting

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