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Tips on how to talk about traumatic events in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting

Tips on how to talk about traumatic events in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting (ABC7)

On Tuesday, front page headlines about the tragedy in Las Vegas lined a waiting room table at Potomac Psychiatry, where workers see the effects of traumatic events first hand.

“It can be a re-triggering event. You think about families who have experienced school shootings and you see this again and it’s just bringing up these past memories,” said Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Mark Novitsky.

Video and cell phone images take you right to the horrifying scene.

“It’s hard to imagine—it’s hard to imagine someone getting up there and firing down at thousands of people,” said Martin Goldman, of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Donna and Martin Goldman say seeing the videos and pictures are overwhelming.

“It’s hard enough to read the newspaper, but then to hear it and see it makes it even worse,” Donna Goldman said.

Novitsky says when it comes to children, it’s important to listen to your kids’ concerns.

“The goal is to help them feel secure, feel comforted,” he explained.

Listening, comforting, and answering questions, he says, helps to navigate the fears and uncertainty. He recommends anyone having trouble processing trauma like this to reach out to their support system or a professional.

“It hits you in the pit of your stomach and your heart,” Goldman said. “It’s too much.”

Dr. Bruce Kehr, with Potomac Psychiatry, writes a blog which includes information on how to talk to children about traumatic events. He also has written a book which touches on the topic.

For more information on how the practice recommends dealing with traumatic events, you can head to their website: http://www.potomacpsychiatry.com/

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