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Physician: shooting likely to carry lasting psychological effects

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Experts say traumatic events like Tuesday's shooting can cause serious emotional damage to people close to the ordeal. Doctor Farhan Fazal, who is the chief of staff at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare's Psychiatric Center in Hazard, says it is difficult to say just how people will process the loss of a loved one.

He says grief generally follows a familiar pattern, starting with shock and denial, and finally leading to acceptance and resolution, but the doctor says each individual reacts to emotional trauma differently, making it impossible to predict how specific family members will react.

"We're looking at possibilities of retaliation, to complete depression, isolation," said Fazal. "So anything is possible depending on that person and their set of, what kind of support system they have available in that community."

Doctor Fazal says people grieving may need counseling or even medication on a short-term basis to help deal with their emotions. The doctor says there is a danger in not confronting these emotions. He says strong community support can help people recover faster.

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