What students need to know about ptsd post-school shooting the mighty ideal gas kinetic energy

This can lead to more severe issues, self-medication and, unfortunately, suicide. I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me after being a direct child survivor of 9/11 all of those years ago, one of the few children to actually be caught under the Towers from start to finish.

As a teenager looking for relief and for answers, I was swept through a revolving door of therapists and psychiatrists who fit my symptoms into one diagnosis, then another, scribbling out prescriptions for medications I had severe reactions to, and yet, nothing changed. Things only got worse.

Years later, as I begin to answer people’s questions about my experience, I’ve been asked more than once whether I find it surprising that it took so long to finally get the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the proper treatment for it.

There are incredibly complex ways trauma affects the brain. It can lead to exacerbated and dangerous behavior when it comes to sex, relationships, drinking, work, being able to concentrate, school, sleeping at night, friendships and relationships with family.

It’s not just survivors of school shootings who are affected: One out of every two kids in this country will be affected by trauma. This includes events that occur in everyday life like the death of a parent, surviving an accident, witnessing domestic abuse or other acts of violence, being exposed to something disturbing and so much more.

PTSD is often misdiagnosed by typical psychologists because they are trained to treat what immediately presents itself as a DSM and medically treatable diagnosis like general anxiety, addiction or bipolar. Then comes the medications that don’t work, the talk therapy that doesn’t work, all of which can be re-traumatizing in itself. But young people — especially children — don’t necessarily even realize they’re living with trauma or have a history of trauma… and it never comes up. They also often lack the words to describe what they’re experiencing on their own, so there is something to be said about someone finally putting words to some part of what they’re experiencing.

Trauma, and the treatment of PTSD, is something a specialist trained in that area should tackle with cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, art therapy and a combination thereof. Sometimes, successful treatment is paired with medication.

A study just broke last week that the suicide rate among teenage girls is higher than ever. Ariana Grande also had an interview to TIME last week reflecting on the terrorist attack that took place at her concert a year ago. And at the end of last week, another school shooting took 10 young lives. These events reverberate across state lines and even on a global level, and they make us all feel afraid. It is possible to feel so afraid that secondary trauma occurs, warranting treatment as outlined above. Some kids may go on unaffected by it, as we are all different. And for those directly exposed to violence in any form across the country, support, treatment and a plan in place to restore a feeling of safety is crucial for carrying on and living a healthy life.