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There are no words to express the sadness felt for innocent lives lost and everyone affected by a school shooting or any such tragedy. These tragedies hurt us as we cope and try to understand the actions and how to handle the vicarious trauma we may experience. The anxiety and sadness you may feel is normal in addition to developing strong emotions if you have recently suffered a loss or experienced past losses and traumas. The attached articles provide information about how to manage distress and one of the articles provides tips about how to respond to children after a tragedy.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may affect anyone who has suffered a trauma. Abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, combat, natural disasters or any threat to your life may cause PTSD and the symptoms will disrupt your life and relationships. Sadly, many people suffer in silence. The link below provides information about PTSD symptoms and the the fact that PTSD is being treated with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is unique in that you may choose whether or not you share the details of a traumatic memory with your clinician. The therapy technique basically helps you "re-file" a memory into a place in the brain that is not at the forefront and does not continue to interfere. Some clients prefer to share a few comments about their experiences but the details are not required for this treatment to be effective which oftentimes helps clients due to security, trust or other privacy issues. Once the memory is "re-filed" clients report feeling lighter, have gained insight, the heaviness has been lifted, and they are able to keep the memory but in a place that is no longer confused or disruptive.
Symptoms: Nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance, feeling numb, jittery, always on alert for danger.