EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde was tragic and it’s impact will resonate far beyond the hurt residents of that community.

Not only has the shooting caused trauma and heartache in the victims and their families, but it can also trigger survivors who have experienced something similar, like those who lived through the mass shooting here in El Paso on August 3, 2019.

KTSM 9 News spoke with Doctor Moataz Ragheb who is a Psychiatrics and Social Professor of Psychiatry at Texas Tech.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as “psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.”

Dr. Ragheb says the most common trigger of PTSD in people is the death of a loved one. He says there are signs to watch out for if you believe someone you know may be suffering from PTSD.

“Relatively small percentage will develop certain symptoms, some of them are recalling and remembering the events like flashbacks, nightmares, memories. Others are disturbance in how they feel in general. You can get depressed or angry, they tend to be more isolated, their emotional responses become numb.”

In some similar situations, Ragheb says mothers tend to become more protective of their existing kids and the people they love when tragedy strikes.

He says the number one thing you don’t want to do is force your loved one to talk about their trauma; adding that doctors can help with some aspects of the symptoms.

“If someone has difficulty with sleep, we can help them with something non-addictive to get them some sleep. If someone has nightmares, we can help them with that. If someone is sad and feels lonely a loving hug from a loved one can definitely be great value.”

Ragheb adds that, although its painful, most people do recover from PTSD.

For those here in the Borderland that may be experiencing these feelings after the shooting in Uvalde, the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center is open to the public to help with treatment options.

From their website:

The El Paso United Family Resiliency Center (FRC) opened its doors on December 19, 2019 offering a place of healing and support dedicated to serving those directly and indirectly impacted by the tragedy.

The main focus of the FRC is to disseminate information and assist community members in navigating the variety of services available in response to August 3rd

Click here to view the FRC website.

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