Anxiety builds in society following mass shootings

Fear in Tucson community after mass shootings

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Do mass shootings and acts of violence have an impact on our mental health as a society?

KOLD News 13 posed that question to people on Monday.

"You should look for exits, but I just live day by day and take everything in stride," said Chris Singleton, lending advice while spending time playing games in downtown Tucson.

He said he doesn't let the tragedies our country has seen recently affect his daily life.

Though, Brandi Harrington, who he played games with at Jacome Plaza, can’t say the same.

"I do have anxiety around people, mostly because of that," Harrington said. She's not a fan of large crowded events, and goes out of her way to avoid them. "I've always done it since I was a kid, because of my childhood, but on top of that with everything that's going around."

Harrington isn't alone.

Plenty of people across the country feel uneasy.

"A movie theater, a concert or on a street corner where Safeway is," said Pam Opper, a therapist in Tucson. "We know as Tucsonans this happens."

Opper has practiced social work for the last 20 years. In that time, she said she's seen anxiety increase dramatically.

"I would say that anxiety is fear of the unknown because you don't know what's going to happen," she explained.

Opper said these days more people are on guard and aware of things around them.

"The one thing I can put my finger on is a lack of hope," she said. Her advice for those suffering from fear and anxiety is to seek help and live in the present.

“All we have is now and I think that’s the best we can do in a very frightening time,” she said, bringing it right back to Chris Singleton’s way of living.

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