Due to a traumatic incident, such as a traffic accident, plane crash, violent crime, terrorist attack, epidemic, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, or flood, you may experience great shock, confusion, and fear. You may also feel exhausted or overwhelmed by several opposing emotions at once. These emotions aren’t confined to all those who saw the event. Traumatic stress can break your sense of stability, cause you to feel weak and unsafe in a dangerous world—mainly if others, such as a stranger, caused the traumatic incident. These emotions are normal.
Symptoms of Traumatic Events
- Shocked and disbelieving – You’re having trouble accepting the truth of what happened, or you’re feeling miserable and disconnected from your emotions.
- Fear– You’re afraid that things will happen again or that you’ll lose control or fall.
- Sadness or grief – specifically if people you know have died or had life-changing incidents happen to them.
- Anger – You may be prone to emotional outbreaks or be angry all the time, with God, authority, governments, family members, colleagues, or those you believe are to blame.
- Shame – especially for feelings or fears you will be unable to control.
- Relief – You may be relieved that the worst is over, that you were not as badly affected as others, or even optimistic that things will get better.
How to Deal With Traumatic Events
It may take time to process the dust and repair the damage after a horrible or traumatic event, and it may take time to restore emotional balance and rebuild your life. However, there are specific things you can do to help yourself and your loved ones in dealing with the emotional effects of trauma and continuing with your life.
Suppose your traumatic stress reaction is so intense and chronic that it affects your capacity to function, you may require the help of a mental health professional, especially a trauma specialist.