Trauma and Crisis

Traumatic events can touch all of our lives. Trauma is also very relative to our experience. A crisis is defined as a period of intense difficulty, trouble or danger. Our bodies tend to respond to such events with “fight or flight.” It can create a lot of different emotions and linger affects for the survivor, whether it be the loss of a loved one, being victimized in some way, or experiencing a natural disaster. This can be referred to as post-traumatic stress. This does not mean that it will become pervasive or keep you from functioning, but there are some things to be prepared for:

You may feel emotionally:

  • Anxious or fearful
  • Overwhelmed by sadness
  • Anger
  • Guilty, even when you had no control
  • Heroic, like you can do anything
  • Like you have too much energy or none at all
  • Disconnected
  • Numb, unable to feel either joy or sadness

You may also have physical reactions:

  • Having stomachaches
  • Having headaches or physical pains for no reason
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Sweating or having chills
  • Being jumpy or easily startled.

Here are a few things that can help:

  • Talk with someone. Connecting with others who accept and understand you feelings is the best way to help yourself.
  • Move your body. It is the next best way to reduce stress.
  • Meditate and listen to music timed to your breathing.
  • Promote physical care by eating healthy meals and snacks, getting enough rest, and drinking plenty of water
  • Reestablish routines. Get back doing things that you would normally do every day. This will help you regain a sense of control over your life.
  • Knowing that it’s ok to celebrate and have moments of joy after a trauma.
  • Try not to let thoughts about the trauma take over your thinking. If you are having a hard time making sense of what happened, seek out counsel of someone you trust

*Taken from SAMSHA