High School Shooting

Platte Canyon High School ­

As most of you are aware, there was a school hostage and shooting on Wednesday, September 27th at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado.

Any time a person is exposed to an event that is life­threatening and terrifying, that person is at risk for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a condition in which a person reexperiences the event through intrusive and disturbing thoughts such as flashbacks and nightmares. A person with PTSD may also experience a feeling of numbness or “detachment” in which he or she avoids people or places that may be reminders of the incident and may stop participating in usual activities. Finally, a person with PTSD may experience severe panic symptoms including being easily started, constantly on the look­out for danger, irritability, and poor sleep and concentration. PTSD can be a serious condition that can cause long­term problems. If a person has PTSD, he or she can be treated with therapy and/or medications.

Further explanation of PTSD and ways to treat it can be obtained from the Colorado Psychiatric Society (CPS). The CPS has informational support packets available, including the “Process of Recovery” by Drs. Mary Ann Levy and Harriet Stern, some copies of the APA’s PTSD booklet, and copies of AACAP’s “Facts for Families.” (Both can be downloaded from the websites – www.psych.org and www.aacap.org.) Further information on PTSD and its diagnosis and treatment can be found on those websites as well.

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