Survivors’ Brains Affected By Orlando Shooting

victims-pulse-orlando-shootingThe murders of 49 people Sunday morning in Orlando during the largest mass shooting in United States history was horrific enough for anyone in the country to digest. But what about the 53 people who were injured? How do they move on with the rest of their lives? How do they feel safe again? And, are there hidden changes which have yet to manifest themselves?

Brain imaging expert and best-selling author Dr. Daniel Amen, founder of the Amen Clinics says, “Emotional trauma can cause lasting changes in the brain.  It causes increased activity in the brain’s emotional system, making people more prone to anxiety and depression.”

An estimated 7.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from post traumatic stress disorder from witnessing or experiencing emotionally traumatic events, such as the terrorist attack in Orlando.

Dr. Amen stresses:

  • Survivor’s Guilt.  The agonizing questions of how and why I survived can trigger other physical and mental problems.
  • A treatment plan.  Knowing the potential consequences can lead to better and more immediate treatment.
  • Long term effects. What regions of the brain are affected by PTSD and behavior changes to look for in people who are suffering from it. 

Daniel G. Amen is a psychiatrist, clinical neuroscientist and Founder of Amen Clinics in California, Washington, Virginia, Georgia and New York. Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior. Dr. Amen is the lead researcher on the largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study on professional football players and was a consultant on the movie Concussion starring Will Smith. He’s been a guest on multiple TV shows and networks such as CNN and “The View.” In January, his research was chosen as one of the top 100 stories in science for 2015 by Discover Magazine.

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