PTSD: It Can Happen To You


PTSD:  It Can Happen To You
Can't stop remembering an awful event that terrified you? Heal yourself quickly in minutes with EFT.

A few days ago at 5 AM a loud explosion awakened me! It sounded as if it was next door. My husband was worried too but we told ourselves that it must have been a big truck backfiring as it went along the well-traveled road behind our house, so we went back to sleep.

Unfortunately there was another identical blast a half hour later and then a third boom. The noises didn't sound like gunshots but more like bombs. My husband looked out our front window and saw a Sheriff's car blocking the street and a Swat team 2 houses away. Soon after we received a phone call from the authorities warning us to stay inside.


We live on a lovely street and have always felt very safe. However, the next few hours were very scary since we didn't know what was happening and kept imagining some pretty dire scenarios. We were afraid to go near windows since if there was shooting a bullet might go astray.

Finally we received another call telling us that the emergency was over. We still didn't know the details about what had occurred until the afternoon. Apparently the authorities had caught up with a wanted felon living only 2 houses away, and yes, they had used smoke bombs during the 2-hour standoff.

When I saw that our street was once again danger free I breathed a sight of relief and went on with my usual routine. However, as the day progressed I noticed that I wasn’t able to concentrate on some of the tasks I had set for myself. I was antsy and anxious but didn't know why until I started to print out some flyers for an upcoming class I going to teach about Post Traumatic Stress.


A light bulb went off in my brain as it dawned on me that I was suffering from just that: Post Traumatic Stress! You don't have to be in a war or be threatened by a criminal pointing a gun at you to be traumatized. Even something minor, like having a Swat team flush out the criminal on your block while you sit in bed and wonder what is going on, can result in PTSD.

What is Trauma? It is any experience the brain thinks is a threat to your life. Hearing bombs go off and seeing people who are armed right outside my window posed enough of a threat to traumatize me since we were forbidden to leave our safe home...or was it safe? I cowered in my bed not knowing if I would hear a gunfight outside or whether a bomb would shatter the windows.


Another important aspect of trauma is the sense of total helplessness about the situation and your ability to deal with it. This state can produce the same kind of changes in your brain as happens in war, rape, abuse or even painful medical procedures or accidents. Waiting for hours and not knowing what was going on just a few yards from my sanctuary increased my feelings of powerlessness.

Common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress include: reliving the event, having physical sensations when being reminded of the event, having trouble focusing or concentrating, feeling jumpy or feeling very tired, anxious, worried or depressed. That was exactly what I was experiencing.


Article contributed by

Gloria Arenson

Marriage and Family Therapist

Gloria Arenson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology and author of 7 books. She is passionate about helping people help themselves to be free of negative emotions and compulsive behaviors.

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Credentials: DCEP, EFT-ADV, MFT, MS
Other Articles/News by Gloria Arenson:

How to Heal the Emotional Scars of Scary Moments


When I notice that I am feeling sorry for myself because of an upset or a disappointment, I recall a very kind and wise teacher and life coach I once knew who pointed out that people are like everyday china. He said that by the time we reach maturity, we all have some chips and cracks to remind us that life has tossed us about. As a result, we have ... Read more

Curb Compulsive Eating When You Use The Dear Abby Approach


Did you ever have a problem or emotion that was so upsetting you wanted to call your best friend because you needed a friendly ear and advice from someone you trust? But, what happens if no one answers? You are stuck with your unpleasant feelings. Here's a simple method that will help you help yourself when you feel this way. Follow these 4 steps to consult ... Read more

Driving Each Other Crazy? It's In Your DNA


Are you like me? In a relationship with someone vastly different from you? Whenever I am planning a trip, I start thinking about what I am going to pack at least three weeks ahead of time. I have created a master packing list of necessities for travel that I keep on my computer. That way I can modify the list depending on the time of year, climate at my ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Most Popular