Trauma can trigger anger, sadness

I continue my look into trauma and related responses and conditions:

In addition to fear and anxiety, anger is a very common reaction to trauma. We might feel anger at the person or situation responsible for our trauma. We may be angry at ourselves if we blame ourselves for what happened. We might just be more irritable than usual and have a hard time understanding why we’re snapping at our partners or less patient with our kids. Like any of these reactions, it’s perfectly normal to feel anger after a trauma.

We often will feel sad and cry after a highly traumatic event. The crying can be a way for the nervous system to come down from the fight-or-flight response since crying is associated with the parasympathetic nervous system that calms the mind and body. The sadness can also come from feeling overwhelmed by a world that feels terribly threatening. And, of course, sadness and grief are common when the trauma involved the loss of someone close to us. It’s normal for these feelings of sadness to wax and wane.

If the trauma involved someone close to us being injured or killed, we may blame ourselves and feel guilty that we didn’t somehow prevent it. Combat veterans might feel guilty about actions they took in the course of their duties that resulted in the deaths of enemy combatants. Or we might feel responsible for being attacked or hurt as though, somehow, we caused it.

Sometimes rather than feeling strong emotions, we feel shut down emotionally, as though we’re made of wood. We might not have the positive emotions we know we should when good things happen in our lives. Part of the numbing response can come from the body and mind’s self-protective efforts in the face of overwhelming emotions.

Sept. 27. Noise: The caller states the neighbor is moving furniture again at 12:38 a.m. in the 100 block of Harbor View Drive.

Injury accident: The hit-and-run driver chose a bad place and time of day to flee from the scene at 12:16 p.m. in the 1200 block of Boulder City Parkway.

Thought for the day: You can run but you can’t hide from traffic cams and witness pictures.

Sept. 28. Assist other jurisdiction: The scam call gets an elderly couple in a panic after they think their sister is waiting for bail money at 1:49 p.m. in the 600 block of Mount Blackburn Lane.

Civil: The proprietors of a local establishment request assistance in getting a customer that just doesn’t want to leave to leave at 6:07 a.m. in the 700 block of Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: Sister and the police chief are unable to convince the elderly man that his sister isn’t in “the big house” until we arrive and explain the situation.

Sept. 29. DUI: Driving more than 100 mph draws the attention of the officer but that is just the start of the driver’s bad day at 4 a.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 93 and Veterans Memorial Drive.

Auto theft: The owners think the vehicle is safely tucked in their garage but find themselves chasing it up the street after a suspect decides to “untuck” it at 5:42 a.m. in the 200 block of Big Horn Drive.

Thought for the day: Things get off to a brisk start but the DUI driver and car thief both have had better days.

Sept. 30. 911: Open line with man yelling about being arrested and woman assuring the man she hates him at 12:44 a.m. in the 1500 block of Lynn Drive.

Burglary: The elderly caller has a list of issues but states the people responsible slip out a window before being caught and believes they are now after the family crystal at 1:11 p.m. in the 800 block of Fairway Drive.

Thought for the day: Warn your family members to check out any information given to them over a nonsolicited phone call and do not call the person back on the numbers they give.

Oct. 1. Vehicle burglary: The unlocked vehicle was ransacked and a few expensive items are now missing at 4:27 p.m. in the 1300 block of Georgia Avenue.

Suspicious: The caller believes they may have seen suspects from a television show soliciting rides near our south city limits at 6:12 p.m.

Thought for the day: Unlocked vehicles and items easily seen are a good combination for thieves.

Oct. 2. Assist other jurisdiction: Officers are asked to assist another officer on a traffic stop at 12:32 p.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 93 and U.S. Highway 95 on the off ramp.

DUI with accident: The caller states a vehicle pulling a boat has crashed into them at 1:34 p.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: No wonder the vehicle descriptions, of both calls, sound the same — the driving pattern now makes perfect sense.

Oct. 3. Prowler: The caller states that the cameras have captured a prowler after dark and they want to make a report in case he comes back at 12:46 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ironwood Drive.

Parking: Two separate vehicles have found the sidewalk a perfect place to park at 2:09 p.m. in the area of Adams Boulevard and Georgia Avenue.

Thought for the day: Night vision is a wonderful thing – and a recording to boot.

Call(s) of the week: Trespassing: The caller isn’t sure what make the vehicle is but says the large plastic lizard attached to the hood should help it stand out at 4:10 p.m. Sept. 29 in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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