When you experience or witness an event that is traumatic for you,
you may feel intense fear, helplessness, terror, or horror or you
may find yourself just feeling numb (not feeling anything). Sometimes,
you may not realize that you have been traumatized. You may be in
shock or unaware of the impact of the event.
During the days or months following the trauma, you
may find yourself re-experiencing the event--in dreams, feelings,
daydreams and/or other conscious thoughts--or trying to avoid any
setting that may remind you of the trauma. You may feel detached from
those around you. You may have difficulty sleeping or find yourself
sleeping much more than usual. You may have trouble concentrating--keeping
your mind on what you are doing. You may feel unusually fatigued,
anxious, sad or depressed.
Some Useful Strategies for Dealing with Your Reactions
First, recognize that you have been exposed to a traumatic
event and that it is bound to affect you in some way. Remember that
there is no right or wrong way to think or feel about the traumatic
event. Any reaction you have is valid. Be accepting of your own feelings
and reactions as well as those of others. Different people may react
in very different ways.
Talking to others about the event can be very helpful.
Tell sympathetic family or friends about your experience. Don't feel
over-responsible: Try to understand what your limitations were at
the time of the event. People tend to feel that they should have reacted
differently or done something to prevent or to lessen the impact of
the incident. Be aware that in traumatic situations, most people react
in the best way that they can based on their ability and their awareness
at that exact moment in time.
Sometimes the trauma has affected your friends and family,
and they may not be able to help you or even listen to you. In fact,
they may also need someone to talk to.
Counseling Can Be Helpful
Take advantage of individual and group counseling services
available to you. Counseling can help you make sense of your experience--to
understand how the trauma has affected you and to understand your
feelings and reactions to it.
If you or someone close to you has experienced or witnessed
a traumatic event or if you would like more information about reactions
to trauma, come in and speak with a professional counselor in 0203
James Hall. Personal counseling services are free and completely confidential
(counseling here is completely private). You can call for an appointment