After a mass shooting during a Las Vegas country concert, that left 59 dead and over 520 injured, mental trauma will be a serious concern for both victims and survivors. But another group that can be affected may not have even been there when the tragedy occurred.
Centerville psychiatrist Dr. Kathy Platoni helps patients dealing with PTSD. She previously served 34 years of active and reserve military service, including four deployments.
"PTSD doesn't necessarily have to involve witnessing the trauma or being a part of the traumatic event,” Platoni said. “It can also traumatize friends and family people who see it over and over again on the news."
Platoni knows what victims and those affected by the Las Vegas shooting are struggling with. She deals with survivor’s guilt, which is a major concern for others as well. In 2009, Platoni was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas when a gunman opened fire and killed 13 people while wounding 30 others. Although she was on the shooter’s hit list, she happened to be out of the room while the shooting occurred.
"I still live with the fact that several of those rounds were meant for me,” Platoni said. She continued, "I've tried to grow from that and rise to every challenge in terms of treating as many people who go through this traumatic event."
As Las Vegas victims and emergency crews recover from the tragedy, Platoni is waiting to hear if she is needed. If requested, she could be going to Nevada on Wednesday to assist those affected by the trauma.
Platoni also added, "It's very disconcerting and disturbing to see this happen over and over and over again in this country."