Starting at the Beginning
From the moment we are born, our brains store and acquire memories, knowledge, sounds, and more to ensure that they will keep us safe. Once something terrible, painful, or scary happens to us, our brains use a lot of energy to help us escape that situation.
Once we aren’t in danger anymore, our brains need time to recover, and this process can last anywhere from hours to years, affecting our daily lives. Some physiological symptoms developed during this process can include eating disorders, irregular sleeping cycles, nightmares, muscle tension, and hypersensitive reactions to unexpected sounds or movements. In the same way, we can suffer a number of psychological symptoms—fear, anxiousness, depression, insecurity, absentmindedness, avoidance, flashbacks, and more.
These responses can happen after experiencing a shocking event or when you have been in dangerous situations. The combination of your body’s symptoms or responses is called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Types of Trauma
Just as there are different situations that can cause trauma, there are different types of trauma.
Simple Trauma – When one single episode affects us. A typical example is a car accident.
Chronic Trauma – When a person suffers many traumatic but similar episodes. A typical example is victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Complex Trauma – When a person suffers many different traumatic episodes (e.g., when someone was in a car accident, used to be bullied in school, and is also a victim of a violent situation ).
Secondary Trauma or Second-Hand Trauma – When a person hears about traumatic experiences that others suffered or imagines the suffering that someone experienced. An example can be a family member of a survivor of a traumatic event.
However, because we are all different, a traumatic situation can affect us in different ways from one another. Similarly, PTSD symptoms might be similar between survivors, but they might have different levels of intensity.
Escaping the Shadow
“I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.”
-Carl Gustav Jung
Over five years after the tragedy of October 1, 2017, it’s possible that there are people who were part of the event and are just now showing signs of trauma or even people who just haven’t been able to recognize that they’ve been suffering from trauma.
It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to ask for help. It might be difficult to share how we feel with others, but the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center has professionals who can help you in your healing journey so that you live your life to the fullest, leaving behind the victim mentality and becoming a survivor! You can connect with the Resiliency Center over the phone at 702-455-AIDE (2433) or send an email. Be sure to also check out the VSRC Calendar page to find out about free online and in-person events to help you on your healing journey.