YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE HAS EXPERIENCED A TRAUMATIC EVENT
Traumatic events overwhelm our coping mechanism and can cause us to experience unusually strong emotional reactions that may interfere with our ability to function.
Even though the event itself may be over, you may continue to experience some strong reactions or aftershocks. Sometimes these aftershocks occur a few hours or days after the event. In other cases, weeks, months or years may pass before they appear or are triggered.
The aftershocks or signs and symptoms of stress reaction may last for a brief or an extended period of time depending on the severity of the event and the amount of exposure you had to it.
The support of others help the stress reactions pass more quickly than if you try to handle it on your own. Occasionally, regardless of supportive friends and family, the traumatic event has such a great impact that professional assistance from a Trauma Counselor is necessary. This does not imply craziness or weakness. It simply indicates that the particular event was just too powerful.
Common Reactions to Trauma
Individuals often experience trauma-related symptoms following a traumatic event. Reactions tend to fall on a continuum and can change over time. Responses to trauma exposure will also vary depending upon ones age, life experiences, support system, culture, values & belief systems.
The symptoms listed below are generally common and normal responses to uncommon and abnormal traumatic situations.
ü Increase in heart rate and blood pressure, chest pain
ü Headaches, stomach aches & nausea, vomiting
ü Muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, twitches or shakes
ü Fatigue, teeth grinding, profuse sweating.
ü Startle response, jumpiness
These symptoms may indicate a need for a medical evaluation. When in doubt, see a physician.
ü Changes in patterns of sleep and/or changes in patterns of eating and sex
Substance Abuse (Caffeine, alcohol, prescription & non prescription medications)
ü Reverting to old patterns and behavior. Ex: smoking
ü Withdrawal, pacing, erratic movements, change in speech patterns
ü Difficulty concentrating or remembering information, difficult problem solving
ü Confusion, nightmares,
ü Hyper or decreased vigilance and awareness of surroundings; disorientation
ü Intrusive images
ü Sadness, anger, frustration, panic, denial, irritability, mood swings
ü Feeling overwhelmed
ü Short-tempered, lack of patience, increased aggressiveness and agitation
ü Numbness, withdrawal
ü Increased sense of blame, guilt and shame I could of, should of, would have; strategies to create the illusion that you could of/can be in control & change what has happened
ü Desire (or lack of desire) for physical contact and communication
ü Anger at God and/or clergy
ü Loss or deterioration of faith
ü Loss of meaning or purpose
ü Faith practices and rituals seem empty