Traumatic Stress

Symptoms of Traumatic Stress

Even though the event may be over, you may now be experiencing or may experience later, some striong physical, psychological and behavioral reactions to the traumatic event. No one is immune from these reactions. It is quite normal for people to experience these aftershocks when they have passed through a horrible event. This does not imply weakness or crazines. It simply implies that the traumatic event was just too powerful and overwhelming.

Symptoms of traumatic stress can vary from person to persons. Some people will experience many symptoms, others just a few. For some, the effect is rapid. For others symptoms may occur weeks, months or even years later. The effects can even be cumulative over time. With Acute Stress, the symptoms go away within a few weeks. if the symptoms last more than a month, seek medical help and counseling specific for Post Traumatic Stress immediately. The sooner the treatment begins, the better the chances are for a full recovery.


EXAMPLES OF REACTIONS TO A CRITICAL INCIDENT or OTHER TRAUMATIC STRESS:


  • Physical Symptoms *(any of these may require medical attention)
  • Chills
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Twitches
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Elevated BP
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Shock symptoms
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Visual difficulties
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
Cognitive/Mental Symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Uncertainty
  • Hyper-vigilance, watchful
  • Suspiciousness
  • Intrusive images
  • Blaming someone
  • Poor problem solving
  • Poor abstract thinking
  • Difficulty with numbers
  • Poor concentration/ memory
  • Disorientation of time, place person
  • Difficulty identifying objects or person
  • Heightened or lowered alertness
  • Increased or decreased awareness of surrounding
Emotional Symptoms
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Grief
  • Panic
  • Denial
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Intense Anger
  • Apprehension
  • Emotional Shock
  • Emotional Outbursts
  • Feeling Overwhelmed
  • Loss of emotional control
  • Thoughts of suicide/ homicide
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
Behavioral Symptoms
  • Withdrawal
  • Antisocial acts
  • Inability to rest
  • Intensified pacing
  • Eratic movements
  • Change in social activity
  • Change in speech patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hyper-alert or sensitive to environment
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Change in usual communications