The mass murder in Las Vegas has left most of us traumatized at some level. Obviously, for those who were at or near the concert area are highly traumatized but even those of us who are hearing and seeing the scene played out on the news and social media are affected and may also be experiencing stress symptoms.
The term trauma derives from a wound, a piercing. Our hearts have been pierced by this traumatic event.
How do we start the healing process when we are overwhelmed with feelings of fear and anxiety?
1. The first and immediate concern is to make everyone feel safe and secure. This brutal act of violence may make us feel vulnerable and powerless. We need to be reassured that this random killing of innocent people is not normal nor acceptable. We need to know that this brutal act was random and that the killer is dead and can no longer do harm. We need to be surrounded and supported by loved ones.
2. Secondly, we need to address any medical concerns.
3. Third, we slowly begin to recount our traumatic experience in the presence of a compassionate, supportive person. We might tend to replay events over and over again in an attempt to comprehend and make sense of what happened. We might ask questions in order to reconstruct the events.
It is extremely important for you to know that you might experience any or all of the following symptoms:
Loss of Control
Sense of Abandonment
Horrifying Sensory (sights/sounds, e.g. blood, sirens)
Loss of Appetite
Lack of Concentration
These are all NORMAL symptoms of trauma.
The goal in healing from such a horrific and traumatic event is to rebuild our trust about the world we live in. Once we feel safe and our physically healed we begin our emotionally healing by retelling our experience and sharing our feelings.