Today, I’m thinking about all the people in Las Vegas and throughout our country who have personal connections to those wounded or killed on June 8th. I’m also thinking about the medical teams, the first-responders, and members of law enforcement who, running on pure adrenaline, took action to save and protect the victims. All of these people, most importantly the victims themselves, deserve our continued support and prayers.
I’m also thinking about you. National tragedies like the Las Vegas Massacre are so horrific they force us all to deal with sadness, shock, grief, and feelings of fear. For people with a history of trauma, it can trigger old symptoms under control before the news of this tragedy spread.
Are you dealing with the lingering symptoms of trauma? Here are the most common symptoms:
1. YOU CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THE TRAUMA
- Bad memories of the traumatic event keep bothering you.
- Sleep Problems: Reoccurring nightmares, restless sleep, night terrors.
- Flashbacks: Feeling like you are going through the event again and again.
- Triggers: You see, hear, or smell things that cause you to relive the event. News reports, movie scenes, old pictures, videos, seeing something, or hearing a related sound are all examples of triggers.
2. YOU AVOID SITUATIONS THAT REMIND YOU OF THE EVENT
- You avoid people that trigger memories of the traumatic event.
- You avoid crowds, places, or situations that remind you of the trauma.
- You avoid certain necessary activities like driving or shopping.
- You avoid watching movies that remind you of the trauma.
- You avoid seeking help because you don't want to think or talk about the trauma.
3. YOU HAVE NEGATIVE BELIEFS AND FEELINGS THAT WON'T CHANGE
- You think about yourself and others in negative ways because of the trauma.
- You may not have positive or loving feelings toward people and may stay away from relationships.
- You may forget about parts of the traumatic event.
- You may think the world is completely dangerous and no one can be trusted.
- You see yourself as damaged or uncurable.
4. YOU HAVE ANXIETY AND DISTRESSING FEELINGS YOU CAN'T SHAKE
- You have developed what's called: hyperarousal—anxious, jittery, always alert feelings.
- You're always on the lookout for danger. Some people call you paranoid.
- You might suddenly become angry or irritable.
- You have a hard time sleeping.
- You have trouble concentrating.
- You are startled by loud noises or surprises.
If you think you are suffering with symptoms of trauma, don’t keep it to yourself. Let your loved ones know. Share your struggles with a good friend. And, if you feel you need additional support, please contact me. I’m here to help.