LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas has become keenly aware of the symptoms, signs, and dangers of PTSD following the worst mass shooting in American history in October of 2017. But a year-and-a-half later, some survivors are only now seeing the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
June is PTSD Awareness Month and the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is reaching out to make sure everyone who needs help can get it.
“It’s very important to make everyone aware that PTSD is something that can be treated,” said Terri Keener, a behavioral health coordinator at the Resiliency Center.
The PTSD Foundation of America lists symptoms to look for:
- Re-occuring nightmares
- Hopelessness about the future
- A sense of being “on guard” – Hypervigilance
- Immediate outbursts of anger
- Developing a destructive addiction
- Suicidal thoughts
Keener said many trauma survivors do not develop symptoms of PTSD until months or even years after the event.
“We have people just now coming forward from 1 October who are saying, ‘You know what, it’s time for me to talk to somebody,’ or ‘my friend is worried about me, so I guess I’ll go talk to someone.'”
The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center has resources to help people struggling with PTSD. They can help find providers who understand. PTSD or help guide survivors to alternative therapies.
Keener said 1 October affected people all over Las Vegas and that it’s important people look for symptoms in themselves or loved ones.
“What happened with 1 October was traumatic for anyone who was there, anyone who was watching it on the news, anyone who had a family there that they were concerned about or a friend,” said Keener. “We hear so many different stories about how it impacted people.”
PTSD is especially prevalent among military veterans. Estimates suggest we lose one vet every 65 minutes to PTSD. Recent surveys show that more than 20% of veterans who returned from Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD. The Veterans Administration has programs specifically for helping combat veterans.
Keener noted there are difference between veterans and civilians when it comes to PTSD.
“Veterans do have some training and do have some expectation for what they’re going into. But concert goers do not have that expectation,” said Keener. “That’s not to say that both don’t experience PTSD, because they do. It’s very individualized. Everyone experiences it differently and symptoms can present themselves differently.”
Keener stressed that it’s OK to not be OK, that everyone copes in different ways, and that help is available.