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Main Line Health psychiatrist provides helpful ways to cope amid Israeli-Palestinian war

Helpful ways to cope amid Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Helpful ways to cope amid Israeli-Palestinian conflict 02:19

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The war is sparking a variety of emotions, everything from sadness to rage to fear. Doctors said a calm perspective is important.

With a grisly war raging in Israel and the Gaza Strip and protests across America, the conflict is hard to escape.

"Any time you're talking about war you're talking about things like post-traumatic stress disorder," Dr. Philip Izzo said.

Dr. Izzo, a psychiatrist with Main Line Health, said being constantly surrounded with reminders of the war on news outlets and social media can have a range of impacts on mental health.

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"All of us might experience a little more vigilance, more anxiety given these events," Izzo said. "This speaks to the security we feel. It makes us think that perhaps we're not as secure as we once were."

He said the emotions sparked by the war can be especially intense for veterans or people with family connections in Israel.

"These are really kind of dire times and dire events we're dealing with," Izzo said.

Dr. Izzo said it's normal for people to feel anxious and depressed about the situation and it's good to express those feelings calmly to family and friends. But sometimes the emotions can be overwhelming.

"You might see interruptions with sleep variations with appetite changes in energy or interests," Izzo said.

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If daily life is impacted, the doctor said people should consider disconnecting from constant news about the war and focus on healthy stress busters like exercise.

"Finding time for yourself would be helpful," Izzo said.

He said children can have different reactions to the war. It's important to gauge their understanding and interest.

"You don't want to take anything for granted, you don't want to assume things with kids because kids will internalize things very differently than adults," Izzo said.

He said it's important for children to have a sense of safety and parents should be open to reassuring conversations.

Experts say it's important to recognize people have different tolerance levels for conversations about the war and it's best not to force the issue or share your opinions where they might not be wanted to family and friends.

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