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Vegas carnage survivors reeling under trauma

Vegas carnage survivors reeling under trauma

In one of the worst gun attacks in American history, the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, during an outdoor country music concert left 59 people dead and more than 525 wounded, according to media reports. A pall of gloom has descended on the entire country, with prayers reaching out for those killed in the incident and their families.

The ordeal is no less painful even for the survivors, who are still in trauma and are trying to come to terms with the macabre event. For people like Jessica Leonard, whose fiancée Anthony Crisci was shot and badly wounded on that night, the trauma is unrelenting. Her story, reported by the L.A. Times, is among a litany of similar sordid tales that talk about the mayhem. The touching scenes that unfolded that night would go on to stay with many of them for a long time to come.

The story of Jessica and Crisci is a spine-chilling one. They ran for cover, they stumbled, they fell and then suddenly a bullet hit Crisci, rendering him immovable. Transfixed by a bullet on his left thigh, he started bleeding profusely. Jessica too was hit just above her rear pocket while trying to take out her phone. It was a night out which turned out to be an infernal one for both of them, the worst night ever, with bloodshed all around. Never in their dreams had they envisaged that such a horrific event would unfurl while they would be out for fun.

Crisci, while limping and crawling through the ground, took out his phone and called his kin, fearing that he might not be able to do so later. He called his father and then his mother, telling them that he had been shot. It was a nightmare for the couple, unsure of their chances of getting away. When Crisci was unable to move anymore, Jessica dragged him by his arms, with the help of two others, to the hospital van. The emergency room floor in the hospital was smeared with blood, people were howling and gasping with pain. The scene was unbearable for both of them, especially, Jessica who had to witness everything, yet help Crisci receive emergency help.

For the couple, the event may have ended, but the trauma will continue to live with them for days on end. They can still hear the gunshots and it gets difficult for them to shut their eyes without recalling the incident. They have become victims of trauma and would need time to heal.

Understanding trauma

Trauma is a distressing event that forces an individual to feel severely threatened at emotional, psychological and physical levels. Such events can shatter the sense of security in an individual, making him or her extremely vulnerable. They innately feel threatened and become insecure.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event.” Denial and shock can be immediate responses and people who get affected can also experience flashbacks, panic attacks, etc., which can take a toll on their daily lives and have long-term effect on their health.

When psychological and emotional trauma becomes unbearable for an individual, treatment becomes imperative. If left untreated, trauma can lead to other psychological problems. If you have a loved one suffering from a trauma or who had witnessed any such event, seek help from trauma treatment programs.

San Clemente-based Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider in the United States. We run successful trauma treatment centers spanning across the country. If you are looking for a residential trauma treatment or any trauma and stress recovery center, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online for immediate assistance.

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