Trauma Expert Says Las Vegas Massacre Victims — Injured Or Not — Might Suffer Psychologically

STUDIO CITY (CBSLA)  —   The images are hard to shake. Bullets flying, people screaming, blood, chaos.

As haunting as it is to see video of it, experts say for the 22,000 people who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival live, their lives will be forever changed.

“How they see life will never be the same again,” said Christine Choe, a psychologist who specializes in trauma cases.

She spoke to CBS2’s Andrea Fujii about the psychological damage many of the concert goers will face.

Choe said injured or not, the people who were there will likely not be themselves for a while.

She said life for these people is no longer routine or normal.

“They will have difficulty sleeping, loss in appetite, they may feel detached or withdraw from their loved ones,” she said.

She also said if those symptoms last for more than about a month, seek professional help.

“It gets worse and it starts intruding on your day-to-day activities then that’s what we called PTSD,” she said.

Choe said it’s normal for victims to feel guilty — and loved ones can help by just listening.

“That it’s not their fault, and normalize their feelings. And if they’re talking, hear them out without interruption,” she suggests.

In her experience, Choe says that many who come through trauma also become more resilient.

“If they can get through this, they can survive this and even thrive,” she says.

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