The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas left almost 60 dead and more than 500 injured. But that wasn’t the full extent of injuries. Mental health experts warn that many more may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after witnessing the shooting or even watching the wall-to-wall media coverage from this and other recent tragedies.
“Anyone who witnessed firsthand the shooting in Las Vegas or were directly impacted by the recent, natural disasters—and survived—should be screened for traumatic stress, anxiety or other related mental health issues,” Charles R. Marmar, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health and a mental health trauma expert, tells Healio Family Medicine. “Most people have the resilience to recover, but some do not. If their issues are not addressed immediately, they could fall into a prolonged downward spiral that will lead to full-blown PTSD.”
Dr. Marmar says after two to four weeks following these events, those most at risk for PTSD will continue to suffer from sleeplessness, daytime edginess, difficulty managing normal activities, and persistent bad thoughts, memories, and dreams. But normalcy can be restored, he adds, through numerous interventions such as cognitive processing therapy.
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