A renowned expert on PTSD said Monday that people who had been traumatized by a violent event, such as the Sandy Hook parent who was killed in an apparent suicide earlier in the day, can have that trauma revived when a similar event takes place.
“You can envision a scenario in which someone affected by this massive, traumatic event, like the Sandy Hook mass murder, incurred psychological trauma and never really recovered from it even though they ostensibly appeared to have recovered and were functioning in essentially normal manner,” Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, told The Post, making it clear he was not specifically referring to Richman’s case.
“Another even that has similarities to the one they were injured by can reactivate the emotional trauma that they had sustained. It’s like a contagion effect.”
Richman and his wife were among the families who sued Infowars doofus Alex Jones, who repeatedly alleged on his conspiracy-fixated radio and online show that the massacre, which also claimed the lives of six school staffers, was a hoax cooked up by the government.
Richman, like other Sandy Hook survivors, was targeted for abuse and harassment by Jones’ wingnut followers.
And Lieberman also said that the defamation case against Jones was an added stressor.
“It keeps alive the cognitive and emotional components of the experience he had to endure,” he said.
Last week, Connecticut State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis denied Jones’ lawyer’s request for a delay in handing over records to the plaintiffs, and Jones was ordered to provide sworn testimony on the case.
Avielle Richman was one of the 20 first-graders murdered by a madman armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle in December 2012. Six staffers were also killed.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal you can get help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.