Any of us with PTSD will resonate to certain stories. We're attuned to violence by our own history, and we chime like bells when the right harmonic is struck.
It can be very easy to get sucked into the story. These horrors draw a lot of people's attention, and therefore they also draw a lot of media attention. You could watch coverage day and night on TV and on the Internet.
I try not to. I don't have TV (broadcast or cable), and I actually walked away from the Internet for a few days recently when the Dugard case broke. I limit my exposure. That seems to help.
But just the other day, I stumbled across a story about a kid in Bakersfield blinded by horrific abuse. I was stuck with mental images that I did not want and couldn't easily get rid of. So I searched online to find a fund for the child, and I gave $5. Not much, but what I could give. That helps.
Doing something for another person helps me, partly because I'm doing what I can to alleviate the suffering, partly because it gives me agency again. I'm not a helpless child. I'm not *just* suffering. I'm someone with power to help. And that seems to help break the cycle. Also, being aware of what is oppressing me can help.
How do you handle triggering events in the news?