Trauma

 

The Effect of Trauma

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This is the term given to a particular range and combination of reactions following trauma. Reactions following trauma can be divided into three main groups:

  • Re-experiencing the event – a feeling that you are experiencing the original event all over again, through memories intruding into your waking or sleeping life.
  • Arousal reactions – you feel persistently aroused, nervous, agitated sense, anxious, tense, unable to settle or concentrate, over-reacting very sharply to small things and especially, having trouble sleeping.
  • Avoidance reactions – you make frantic efforts to avoid anything that could remind you of the trauma, or cause you to think or talk about it in any way. You may shut down your feelings about other people and things you normally care about and keep to yourself. You may feel unusually withdrawn and emotionally numb.

Five stages of trauma / loss:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

The following is some general advice to help you cope with trauma in general and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in particular:

Do:

  • Express your emotions.
  • Talk about what has happened as often as you need to. Seek trauma counselling.
  • Try to keep your life as normal as possible by following daily routines.
  • Find opportunities to review the experience.
  • Look to friends and colleagues for support.

Don't:

  • Use alcohol, nicotine or other drugs to hide your feelings.
  • Simply stay away from work or isolate yourself. Seek help and support instead (counselling).
  • Allow anger and irritability to mask your feelings.
  • Hide your feelings and be afraid to ask for help.
  • Think your feelings are a sign of weakness.