Midland psychologist reacts to Las Vegas massacre
People across the country are still coming to terms with the Las Vegas massacre.
The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history left at least 58 people dead and hundreds wounded.
The shooting may have happened over a week ago but psychologists here at New Pathways say the effects of stress and possibly PTSD are still setting in.
“Maybe they're really emotional maybe they have sleep disturbance,” said Dr. Jennifer Werries.
Thousands of people who were in Las Vegas when the shots rang out now have to deal with the effects.
“The symptoms are the same for acute stress disorder and it's a time factor. After a week they could meet the criteria for that and after a month if the symptoms still persist they would likely meet the criteria for PTSD,” she said.
Doctor Jennifer Werries works with trauma victims at New Pathways Counseling Services in Midland.
She says since the shooting blindsided everyone victims are more likely to develop PTSD.
“Only 20 or 30 percent will develop PTSD because there are resiliency factors that come into play. If they've had past traumas adverse childhood experiences we know that can field into not having coping strategies,” Dr. Werries said.
Doctor Werries says it's important for people to have support systems in friends or family.
“To be there to listen to not decide when they should be over something and just move on and then for them to be vigilant and say I'm still having nightmares and I should talk to someone,” she said.
But above all, PTSD is something victims can overcome.
“PTSD is not a life sentence if treated effectively,” she said.
Doctor Werries says mass shootings and serving in the military aren't the only things leading to PTSD.
Things like accidents and abuse can also cause you to develop the disorder.