Mass Shootings at Umpqua Community College – Trauma, Grief, PTSD
Mental health of predators and their gun violence; all eyes are on this October, 2015. We too are horrified and we, as mental health professionals, of course share that horror. But first, let’s talk about the victims, their families and loved ones; lives shortened, innocents injured, others traumatized. Like ripples in a pond, this one act radiates outward. Thank goodness for those first responders. We include in our thanks, those counselors and therapists who seek to reach beyond into the debilitating aftermath of those engulfed in not for just the time surgeons take to do the necessary repairs, but for years to come. They are there to help victims to take the first step to recovery within.
What do these victims face?
Grief: The loss of a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face-and missing the child never goes away. A piece of yourself is lost and your future is forever changed. The age of the child at the time of death does not lessen the hurt or devastation. It feels completely unnatural for a child to die before his or her parents. Many grieving parents question whether life will hold any meaning for them and wonder how they will survive the pain of their loss. (Margo F. Weiss, PhD., American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)
PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. (Diseases and Conditions, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), by Mayo Clinic Staff)
Trauma: You’ve gone through a traumatic experience, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But with the right treatment, self-help strategies, and support, you can speed your recovery. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on. (Lawrence
Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: August 2015, in HelpGuide.org.)
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through this alone. With our support, you can get through these times.
We can help. You needn’t leave your favorite/private place. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are always there for you. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
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