SAN JOSE, Calif. - In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings, the trauma of what happened is setting in. Some are suffering from anxiety, even those who weren't survivors.
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Valarie Loera is having trouble sleeping. The Gilroy mother was one of thousands of people who ran from a hail of bullets Sunday night. "I know what I am doing, I'm calling my doctor. I can't take it when I close my eyes and all I hear is pap pap pap, pap pap and people are screaming and falling,"says Loera.
Mental health professionals say the shooting will cause stress and anxiety for the survivors. It can also be a trigger for those who have experienced a past trauma. Psychologists say even if you're viewing video of the shooting online or on TV, exposing yourself over and over again can be unhealthy. If you want to stay informed on the latest news, some suggest reading rather than watching it. "So that you're not watching those petrified faces and people on gurneys or made up gurneys, it's very traumatizing, it's very upsetting," says Tom Plante, a professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University. Plante says to watch for symptoms like inability to sleep or focus or a hyper sense of vigilance.
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"It's changed me, I will not go to a theme park, I will not go to a movie theatre I will never go to a baseball game and my kid will never go to a concert because I'm not going to let her," says Loera. Plante says making decisions in the heat of the moment will not be productive. He says sometimes doing something positive much like those who donated blood can be healing.
"It's more important for folks to rally around the resources they have and be what can I do to help myself or maybe help other people," says Plante.
He encourages those who are affected by the shooting to reach out to loved ones and seek professional help if needed.
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