PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The stress and anxiety caused by the search for Danelo Cavalcante was felt by many people, especially residents living in Chester County.
One woman said: “This has just affected the community. He’s just looking over our shoulders and I can’t sleep and he’s coming to my door.” he said.
The Chester County community has been on edge for two weeks, with many people worried about a murderer on the loose.
“This has affected a lot of people and taken a lot of emotional energy from the community,” said Dr. Philip Izzo.
Dr. Izzo, a psychiatrist at Main Line Health, said it’s natural for people to feel stressed and anxious. The convicts evaded arrest, stole vans, broke into homes and stole rifles and other items, and continued to travel under intense scrutiny from authorities.
“This is putting people’s safety at risk and it’s being questioned,” Izzo said. “It hits where people live, where they want to feel safe.”
Izzo said the incident was especially traumatic for Chester County. Chester County is a rural area where many people may feel safer away from the crime that comes with city life.
“A convicted murder felon is on the run and draws you into the chaos,” he said.
Dr. Izzo said many of his patients in Chester County have become preoccupied with the investigation, and many are experiencing all kinds of anxiety.
“This is an additional stressor that people have to deal with in their lives on top of the normal stressors like family and work,” Dr. Izzo said. “Symptoms can include everything from insomnia, panic attacks, low mood, low mood, and changes in appetite.”
He said even if the animals are captured and no longer pose a threat, it could still affect some people.
“If you’re really feeling threatened, things like PTSD can cause things like this to happen,” Izzo said.
Ways to deal with anxiety include exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and getting enough sleep.
“I hope that the search is over and that he is back in custody so that people can have more rest and peace of mind,” Izzo said.