Posted: May 17, 2012 11:43 PM
Updated: May 18, 2012 6:21 AM
WESLACO - Surviving traumatic events isn't easy; getting through kidnapping and extortion from the cartels seem impossible. CHANNEL 5 NEWS sat down with a psychologist to talk about the strength of survivors.
Dr. Joseph McCoy specializes in trauma. He treats patients who are bouncing back from horrible circumstances; some deal with life and death situations.
Dr. McCoy says kidnapping, murder and rape cases are just some of the situations that leave victims with emotional wounds. He says when people are confronted with these situations, many will switch into survival mode. They start acting like they have to fight; other choose to run away. Dr. McCoy says the strength to act comes from an adrenaline rush.
"A lot of people report that when that adrenaline surge hits, their focus is sharper than it's ever been. Things move in slow motion and they can really see this is what I need to do to stay alive," explains the psychologist.
Dr. McCoy says there are people who panic under these circumstances, but through his experience, he says everyone does their personal best to get through. After the traumatic event comes the hardest part. He says that's when victims have to reach empowerment.
"When people are identifying themselves in therapy as victim, I try to get them to that stage. So later, they can say I am a survivor here," he tells us.
Dr. McCoy says identifying yourself as a survivor after a traumatic event is a position of strength. He says it's a long road; not everyone reaches the long road to recovery.
"Some people have what we might call resilience. They can go through what would devastate you and me. They handle it well, and it doesn't produce the problem. Others go through what you and I might consider trivial experience, and they have a bad reaction. Bottom line is they are experiencing trauma," he says.
Dr. McCoy says trauma is something that can happen to anyone, but the strength to move past it comes from inside.