Obsessed with Sandy Hook Victim

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m very broken up about the deaths of the Sandy Hook victims. One in particular has captured my heart. I find myself looking at his pictures every day & trying to look for info on him & his family. I have a girl his age & a son who looks like him. I feel that if people stop tweeting or FBing about him, he’ll be lost, reduced to a statistic. I’ve tried channeling my grief into a FB page trying to find a solution to gun violence & doing 26 acts of kindenss, but I’m still spending hours each day (at the expense of my family & work), looking for things about him & reading about the other victims. I guess in my mind, he’s alive somehow as long as I keep remembering him. People ask me why I’m so obsessed; he wasn’t my kid. And I can’t give them a reason. It’s been 3 weeks and it’s not getting any better.

A. It is unclear why you have became obsessed with this particular victim. The most logical explanation is that he reminds you of your children. Perhaps you are projecting your fears of losing your children onto this particular individual. Though this obsession may never be fully understood, in all likelihood, it derives from and thrives on extreme fear.

It is always unhealthy to operate on the basis of fear. Fear cripples our lives. So too can unrealistic thinking. Unrealistic thinking ultimately leads to incorrect conclusions and mistakes in judgment.

You are engaged in unrealistic thinking. You stated that you believe that if you continue to read about this particular victim, he will remain alive. For that to be true, it would mean that you have supernatural powers.

The reality is this: whether you read about him or you don’t read about him, it will have no impact on his life, in any way. It is simply not a realistic idea.

Forcing yourself to believe only what is rational, logical and real would help to reduce or to eliminate your obsession.

If the obsession continues, then I would strongly recommend seeing a psychotherapist. A psychotherapist can analyze what is driving your obsession. What’s most important is learning how to remove this obsession and resume your normal life activities. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Jan 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Obsessed with Sandy Hook Victim. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/01/31/obsessed-with-sandy-hook-victim/