As a community, we continue to grieve the tragic losses that occurred because of the shooting at Santa Fe High School. While summer has provided a brief reprieve from the stresses of school, it hasn’t relieved the pain that many in our community continue to feel. In fact, as school approaches, many families may find that their pain becomes more acute and they become generally more anxious, depressed, or fearful. Some people may begin to experience flashbacks of the trauma or start having nightmares. They may also become agitated, withdrawn, or emotionally numb. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be a sign of PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when a person experiences a life-threatening event that overwhelms their normal coping mechanisms. The symptoms of PTSD can emerge weeks, months, or even years after the trauma occurs. Many people don’t recognize the symptoms of PTSD and may be unaware that their depression or anxiety is a side-effect of the trauma. They may try to ignore the feelings or simply try to “push their way through it”. Unfortunately, over time, this strategy often leads to greater anxiety and depression, instead of less. So, if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it is important to get help.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Recurrent and intrusive memories of the traumatic event
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event. If you have PTSD you may feel like you “re-live” the traumatic event and that the traumatic event “just happened” even after years have passed.
- Recurrent dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
- Intense distress resulting from anything that triggers memories of the traumatic event
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma
- Becoming emotionally “numb” in order to cope
- Blocking out memories of the trauma
- Irrational guilt around the traumatic event
- Persistent negative emotions such as fear, horror, anger, guilt, and shame
- Persistent inability to feel positive emotions such as love and happiness
- Loss of interest in activities and becoming detached
- Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Becoming easily angered or agitated
- Becoming hyper-vigilant or easily startled
- Becoming depressed and anxious
- Reckless or self-destructive behavior
Remember that PTSD can happen to anyone and that it is not your fault.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.