Trauma Symptoms

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Emotional and Physical Reactions to Trauma.

Emotional Reactions

  • shock and disbelief
  • fear and/or anxiety
  • grief, disorientation, denial
  • hyper-alertness or hypervigilance
  • irritability, restlessness, outbursts of anger or rage
  • emotional swings — like crying and then laughing
  • worrying or ruminating — intrusive thoughts of the trauma
  • nightmares
  • flashbacks — feeling like the trauma is happening now
  • feelings of helplessness, panic, feeling out of control
  • increased need to control everyday experiences
  • minimizing the experience
  • attempts to avoid anything associated with trauma
  • tendency to isolate oneself
  • feelings of detachment
  • concern over burdening others with problems
  • emotional numbing or restricted range of feelings
  • difficulty trusting and/or feelings of betrayal
  • difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • feelings of self-blame and/or survivor guilt
  • shame
  • diminished interest in everyday activities or depression
  • unpleasant past memories resurfacing
  • suicidal thoughts
  • loss of a sense of order or fairness in the world; expectation of doom and fear of the future
  • anger towards religion or belief system; loss of beliefs
  • desire for revenge

Physical Reactions

  • aches and pains like headaches, backaches, stomach aches
  • sudden sweating and/or heart palpitations (fluttering)
  • changes in sleep patterns, appetite, interest in sex
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • easily startled by noises or unexpected touch
  • more susceptible to colds and illnesses
  • increased use of alcohol or drugs and/or overeating

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