- Mental Health
Some Common Serious Reactions to Trauma and How to Deal with Them - PTSD Self-help
If you have experienced or witnessed trauma, you may have some reactions which make you feel crazy. The following reactions, however, are normal responses after a horrific situation.
Emotional Effects: shock, anger, despair, emotional numbing, no longer enjoying regular activities, dissociation (feeling spacey or like you're on automatic pilot), guilt, grief or sadness, helplessness.
Physical Effects: fatigue, insomnia, sleep disturbance, anxiety or being startled easily, always watching for something bad to happen, physical symptoms like headaches, decreased ability to fight infection, digestive problems like nausea or diarrhea, decreased appetite, decreased sex drive.
Effects on Thinking: difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, memory problems, disbelief, confusion, lowered self-esteem, intrusive thoughts and memories (flashbacks), worry
Interpersonal Effects: alienation, social withdrawal, more conflict in relationships, difficulty at work or school.
If you are having these effects, try to be understanding with yourself. Eat balanced, regular meals. Get your rest. Avoid caffeine. Avoid using drugs (including alcohol) to numb the pain.
Structure your time and set priorities while maintaining your routine. Avoid major changes or decisions. Make small decisions to reassert your sense of control.
Do things you enjoy. Maintain your relationships. Talk about your trauma, but set limits on how much time you'll give to it. Don't deny or avoid thoughts of the incident. Write down your thoughts.
Get professional help if needed.