Losing a loved one or suffering a terrible injury in a shooting can lead to an incredible amount of emotional and physical pain. At times it might seem as though it’s impossible to return to your “normal life,” but help is available, and this support can be much more powerful than you might imagine possible.
Atlanta crime victim lawyer Mike Rafi has helped victims obtain significant compensation from those responsible for their pain, including their post-shooting trauma. If you would like more information on how Mike might be able to help you, please contact him online or call (404) 800-9933.
Mental and emotional aftermath
The shock and trauma of a shooting can unleash a wave of emotions – some of which might be debilitating. You may be experiencing profound sadness and grief, you might be angry or afraid, or you might be a combination of all of them.
These feelings can be so profound that they cause difficulty sleeping, focusing, and may even affect your eating habits. Here’s a closer look at some of the ways that experiencing this trauma can affect you.
Mental and emotional
After a shooting, mental trauma can take various forms and can be overwhelming. Many find themselves anxious and hypervigilant when it comes to their surroundings. They might even be afraid to even venture out past their front door.
PTSD and other problems
These feelings can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, eventually developing into serious concerns and disorders. One of the most common disorders that develop after a horrific event such as a shooting is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
There are several signs that someone might have PTSD: they may be numb emotionally, or they might be always on edge and are easily startled. To them, the whole world might no longer seem safe. PTSD requires a diagnosis by a qualified professional, and it’s best that they seek treatment from a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Some of the other issues associated with mental trauma after a shooting include the following:
- Intense grief
- Feelings of helplessness
- Feelings of shame or guilt such as thinking of ways you could have prevented the attack or intervened
Ways to heal and cope from gun violence
It’s common to experience mental or emotional trauma after being involved in a shooting or losing a loved one to a shooting. Although you might want to be left alone and don’t want to engage with others, don’t shut yourself off from the world. Here are some ways to help you cope with your feelings after such a traumatic event.
It’s difficult to take care of anyone else who’s going through the trauma of a shooting if you aren’t properly taking care of yourself. Self-care might seem different for everyone, and it might take trying a few things to find out what helps you. Some ways of exercising self-care include:
- Maintain daily routines from before the incident (waking up and going to bed at the same time, etc.)
- Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of rest (at least 6 hours of sleep each night)
- Create a soothing space inside your home where you can sit and relax for a few minutes every day
- Try a guided meditation or a mantra for restoring your energy and positive thoughts
- Engage in a hobby that puts your mind at ease (reading, hiking, painting, etc.)
Connect with others
Don’t pay too much attention to the news outlet’s account of what happened. They might promote a story that’s different from what you experienced or downplay the incident, which could cause more stress.
Focus on what’s important to you – the people you love and care about because these are the people that can provide the emotional support you need. There are also several support groups throughout Georgia that can provide an immense amount of support, resources, and assistance.
Seek professional help
No one should feel ashamed for getting help if you’re having trouble processing your emotions after a traumatic event like a shooting, or if you simply don’t know what avenues of support are available to you–here are two to consider.
The emotional trauma of a shooting might threaten to overtake all aspects of your life, making it impossible to function as you did before the incident. Professional therapy could be a great option for you to help move through those feelings, develop healthy coping strategies, and to help you feel as though you’ve returned to “normal” or are on a healthy track.
One of the reasons you may be experiencing so much stress is that you’re worried about the financial aftermath of what has happened. You may have been hurt, you don’t know how you’ll be able to pay the medical bills that you’ve accumulated, and you don’t know where to turn.
Although no amount of money will make up for the nightmare you’ve experienced, taking legal action could help you obtain the compensation you need to move toward financial security. In turn, this could help with your overall healing.
Rafi Law Firm: Helping victims of gun violence move on with their lives
In the meantime, know that, over time, things will improve if you take advantage of the many resources that are at your disposal.