Are we becoming desensitized to mass shootings?

After mass shootings like Las Vegas, we are bombarded with disturbing images on social media. But how does this affect how we view these tragedies?

We’ve seen the video. People screaming and running for their lives, and the images on social media can be graphic and shocking. We shared one of the images of the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting with  Joyce Marter, founder of Urban Balance Therapy.

“It's just really very disturbing. Very profoundly sad,” she said.

Unfortunately, these images are becoming too common as mass shootings occur in this country more and more. Are these tragedies causing people to become desensitized?

"I do think denial is a defense mechanism we have so it's easy for us to become removed from the situations they are so surreal. It's hard for our minds to warp our brains around these occurrences and why they are happening,” Marter said.

She says the first thing people should realize is this is not the new normal. Instead of feeling hopeless and helpless, she has some tips.

Honor your feelings and recognize them as a normal response to trauma. Practice self-care. Seek comfort from friend and family. Detach your fear: living in fear is not healthy. Don’t lose faith in the goodness of humanity. Instead, take notice of all good people who are stepping up to help.  Finally, empower yourself to take action. Do something for your community.

"We can't be ignorant to it. We have to think about where is this coming from. Is it about detecing and treating mental illness? If so, we need to support organizations like NAMI or is it about seeking acceptance of the differences between us and promoting awareness,” Marter said. “Those are things we can do in our community."

Marter says though we may not be able to stop a tragedy at the level of what's happened, empowering yourself to be part of making things better can do a lot for our mental health and restore our faith in humanity.

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