Las Vegas shooting survivors may have to deal with mental issues

Besides the physical healing many Las Vegas mass shooting victims are undergoing, even more will likely have to deal with the emotional toll that has resulted from the tragic incident.

Experts believe the psychological fallout from the event will likely hit a lot of people, from first responders, doctors, nurses, to the victims who were hurt, or witnessed the event. Experts say those in attendance have a good chance of dealing with some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"This happens," said Dr. Melissa Estavillo, who treats a number of disorders, including PTSD. "This is a natural response to serious stressors that just gets a bit overboard or bigger, so saying yes, is there going to be a large percentage of the 22,000? Absolutely."

Dr. Estavillo said witnessing or being part of such a traumatic event could bring on stress and anxiety.

"It affects their communication, it affects their relationships, it affects their health, because they're not able to sleep well," said Dr. Estavillo. "It affects their future, being able to say, 'is the world safe for my children and my family?'"

Dr. Estavillo said the symptoms of PTSD could be immediate, or it could take up to a few weeks or even months to show. She said dealing with the trauma early is key, even if someone thinks it may be a passing phase, or thinks they can take care of it themselves.

"I do think that's an important stigma to fight against, that this is about weakness and I should tough my way through it," said Dr. Estavillo. She went on to say that even people who weren't there, but are watching this all unfold, could also experience a form of PTSD called "Vicarious Trauma".

PTSD information
Mayo Clinic
National Institute of Mental Health