UK & World News
Shooting Victims' Parents 'May Never Recover'
Parents of the children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting may always be plagued with unwanted memories of what happened to their offspring, according to an expert in post-traumatic stress.
Some may never recover from losing their child in such an horrific way and will always be asking why, according to Dr Jennifer Wild, a consultant clinical psychologist at Oxford University and King's College London.
Local people in Newtown, Connecticut, have talked about how parents searching for their children after the attack were heard saying: "please say it's not mine" as they scoured the names of lists of survivors.
Others recalled how those whose children were not on the list walked around bewildered, struggling to accept the horrible, shocking truth that they would not see their child alive again.
Dr Wild said that those who suffer such grief usually move from asking "why?" to asking "what can be done?".
Those who didn't make that transition and could only keep asking why, may be suffering from post-traumatic stress, she said.
"In terms of pulling through from the trauma of losing your child, it is individual. So some people will be able to get through this at a faster rate than other people and some people may never recover," Dr Wild said.
"They will always be plagued by the unwanted memories of what happened and the loss of their little child who is no longer with them.
"It's really important that everybody does pull together when a crisis like this happens, so that community, knowing that the country is behind them, that they have support nationally and internationally, is really going to help them to pull through and to feel supported over all."
Children at the school where Adam Lanza, 20, gunned down 20 children and six adults, may also struggle to recover.
One father, Joe Wasik, told how his daughter Alexis "was a wreck" and how "she saw some things". They now have to try to explain to the third grader how something so awful could happen.
He said: "I don't see her ever going back to that school."
The children who survived are now likely to be given counselling in the coming weeks and months.
Lanza's surviving family members will also need help, Dr Wild said.
"They will be in shock as well. The brother is being questioned at this point in time and he is probably also in shock and cannot believe this is happening.
"So he will be grieving the loss of his brother but also the news that this is the kind of person his brother was."