symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma

Following a traumatic event, most people experience a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. These are NORMAL reactions to ABNORMAL events. The symptoms may last for days, weeks, or even months after the trauma ended. Emotional symptoms of trauma:

Shock, denial, or disbelief
Anger, irritability, mood swings
Guilt, shame, self-blame
Feeling sad or hopeless
Confusion, difficulty concentrating
Anxiety and fear
Withdrawing from others
Feeling disconnected or numb
Physical symptoms of trauma
Insomnia or nightmares
Being startled easily
Racing heartbeat
Aches and pains
Fatigue
Difficulty concentrating
Edginess and agitation
Muscle tension

These symptoms and feelings typically last from a few days to a few months and should fade gradually as you process the trauma. However, even when you’re feeling better, you may be troubled from time to time by painful memories or emotions—especially in response to triggers such as an anniversary of the event or an image, sound, or situation that reminds you of the traumatic experience.

Grieving is normal following a traumatic event. Whether or not a traumatic event involves death, survivors must cope with the loss, at least temporarily, of their sense of safety and security. The natural reaction to this loss is grief. Like people who have lost a loved one, trauma survivors go through a grieving process. This process, while inherently painful, is easier if you turn to others for support, take care of yourself, and talk about how you feel.

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