Don't let the fear consume you, doctor says after Vegas shooting

The Las Vegas shooting -- and other mass attacks on innocent people -- can leave people feeling anxious, nervous and even depressed.

AUSTIN - The horrific shooting in Las Vegas has left America with more questions than answers. Perhaps the most pressing question is, "Why?"

"We may never get a true motive," said John Huber, Psy.D.

Huber is a Clinical Forensic Psychologist who's been practicing for more than 20 years.

"I've been getting calls since this happened yesterday going 'I'm going to ACL this week, should I go?' And I'm like 'Of course you should go,'" he said.

While some people react to traumatic events with anxiety, others are desensitized. Each year in America there's roughly 17 mass shootings, which are defined as attacks where four or more people are killed.

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Huber said there's another common reaction -- depression.

"I mean we got hit with Harvey. Then we get Irma. Then we get Maria. Then we get Mandalay Bay. I think in the next few months we're probably going to see an increase in people dealing with depression -- dealing with post traumatic stress disorder."

Huber said even people who weren't directly effected can have these feelings. The best way to cope is to talk to someone in person.

"One of the things we can do to help us be resilient against this type of thing is to share our story with people who care about us and be there for people when they need it," he said.

He also said people should recognize when it's time to seek professional help.

"If all of a sudden you start reliving the experience of whether you watched those videos on YouTube or on Facebook or if you're actually at Mandalay Bay, if you start walking into situations and you feel like you're starting to relive that, that's a red flag," Huber said.

But most importantly, Huber said don't let the fear consume you.

"Don't panic. Don't be paranoid about it. Because if you do that, whether he was a terrorist or trying to be terroristic, regardless, they win. We've got to have our life," Huber said. 

One of the ways he recommends people overcome feelings of fear are to prepare. Huber said whether you're in a restaurant or at a concert, it's a good idea to identify the nearest exits and develop an exit strategy. 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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