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"Into the Storm" hits too close to home for some Four States res - KOAM TV 7

"Into the Storm" hits too close to home for some Four States residents

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"Into the Storm" released in theaters nationwide today and features realistic effects depicting the path of a deadly tornado.

Local psychiatrists warn that scenes in the movie could have a negative impact on viewers who have experienced a tornado firsthand.

"It's too close to home," said Bobbi Goodman, Baxter Springs resident.

When Goodman took her son to see the movie, she says she did not expect the special effects to be so realistic.

"We didn't realize how intense it could be," Goodman said.  "It had parts that were really emotional to us."

Goodman witnessed the April 27 tornado in Baxter Springs firsthand.

She also says certain scenes in the movie appear to be directly inspired by events during the 2011 Joplin tornado.

"When it starts pouring and they go in the high school, it reminds me of the Joplin High School graduation, the whole thing on that same day," Goodman said.

Because many of the effects are realistic, local psychiatrists say avoiding the film may be the best option.

"The more that the trauma in the movie looks like the trauma that people experienced, the higher chance there is for re-experiencing that trauma through memories, flashbacks,  or nightmares," said Charles Graves, M.D., psychiatrist at Freeman's Ozark Center.

Graves says while graduated exposure is sometimes used to alleviate symptoms of trauma in patients, he does not recommend seeing the film as an effort to conquer a fear of tornadoes.

"There is benefit sometimes in systematic desensitization to things that have caused us trauma, but I would not do that without a therapist or physician's recommendation," Graves said.

Graves advises anyone who has experienced weather-related trauma to avoid the film.

Others who have chosen to see it, say they liked it overall.

"It is a great movie if you can be objective," said Jerry Hunt, Carthage resident.

"There is a risk of memories resurfacing," Graves said.  "The good news is, there are a lot of good movies out, so you don't have to see that movie."

Freeman's Ozark Center recommends that anyone who may be experiencing trauma triggered by the movie to contact the center for support.

The crisis hotline number is 417-437-7720 and the number for additional services is 417-347-7600.
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