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The impact of Trauma

In the wake of the awful events of Las Vegas, AToN Center extends our deepest condolences to all who are affected. 

This is yet another tragedy whose full impact is yet to be seen.  Whether you were there yourself, have loved ones who were present, or are exposed to the horrific sounds and images via the media, I urge all to be gentle with yourselves and others during this time.  This event may bring up remnants of past trauma and increase current fears of safety.  Below is a list of common trauma reactions that you may notice in yourself or loved ones:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma:  This can be via dreams and nightmares, or full flown flashbacks of the event.
  • Stronger emotions that usual:  Anger, fear, anxiety.  Some individuals sometimes feel guilt for surviving the event.
  • Avoidance:  You may avoid anything that reminds you of the event, including sounds, smells and the location of the event.
  • Physiological reactions:  You may notice feeling hypervigilant and having strong startle responses to loud noises.  You may feel as though danger is lurking around every corner – with corresponding feelings of physical tension and increased heart rate.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it gives a general idea of what you may notice in yourself or others.  At this point in time, it is unknown why some individuals may have stronger reactions to trauma than others – but we do know that there is help available through trained professionals. 

If you do seek professional help, confirm that your provider is heavily trained in treating trauma – as this is a specialized area of treatment which requires a great deal of expertise. 

Take care of yourselves out there.

Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D. 
Clinical Director
AToN Center 888-535-1516