HOUSTON – Trauma can look and feel different for different people.
More than a week after the tragedy at the Astroworld Festival, concertgoers and their loved ones might be seeking mental health help on ways to cope with the aftermath.
Dr. Andrew Brams is a Houston-based licensed psychologist.
“I have received a call or so from people who have been involved in that experience. I also have one client that I see ongoing that also went to the concert as well and has indicated expression of difficulties with that experience,” Brams said.
Brams said trauma presents an array of symptoms.
“Anything from emotionally numb to the situation, having appetite, sleep disturbance, they could have a lot of pre-occupation or a lot of racing thoughts about what happened, disturbing images, and things of that sort,” he explained.
KPRC 2 has been following several Astroworld Festival concertgoers since the event. Alfredo Escobedo expressed excitement shortly after the concert ended Friday, but as time has gone on, he said he regrets attending and admits to having difficulties in his day to day life.
“I feel like I am not there. I tried going back to work, I find myself just thinking about it constantly. It just lingers in your mind,” explained Escobedo.
Dr. Brams explains trauma is a process.
“The main thing to think about when we talk about trauma, there is the experience of being in a traumatic event, so not everybody experiences trauma. They see the event but it doesn’t mean they have the symptoms when they walk away and now they have traumatic symptoms. There’s a distinction of the trauma of the event and actually incorporating the trauma and having difficulty with it as time goes on,” Brams said. “If you see a traumatic event, you think about it, you ponder it, you have anxiety about it. But it’s a question over time, as time goes on, and there isn’t a level of integration and closure to that experience we might be looking at something like the individual is not showing a progression of reducing symptoms and might need to see professional help or support.”
He said if symptoms persist, a person might need to talk with a mental health expert.
“If the symptoms are really strong, there’s a certain intensity, frequency and duration of symptoms, such as again, talking about appetite, sleep disturbance, preoccupations with the event, avoidance with things, like things with lots of crowds and there is a level of impairment and functioning in more than one settings, such as work, relationships and homes, whatever, that might be the time to seek some type of professional assessment or intervention,” explained Brams. “As time progresses, symptoms might become more and more prevalent, and they might be seeking more and more treatment.”
Dr. Brams said we are still in the early stages of this process and we do not know how individuals who were there will react.
“If you are having difficulty and you feel that you are a person of worth, you deserve to have the best treatment and have the best quality of life possible. If you can do that, you have a very intact integrity for the most part and you realize what you need more of,” explained Brams.
Rapper Travis Scott has provided concertgoers with a month of access to mental health services.
Here’s a list of other resources available for people.