Traumatic stress is a normal reaction to a tragic event like a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, a car accident, a plane crash, or a shooting. You can experience traumatic stress whether you were a survivor of the event or had nothing to do with it. It is important for those who have experienced or are surrounded by tragedy to do things to pick you up and make you happy as well as have a good support system.
Viewing images and film footage of tragedies can overwhelm your nervous system if you look at them constantly. You feel like a sense of safety is gone and you start to feel helpless and vulnerable. Emotional symptoms from experiencing a traumatic event can be having a hard time accepting this harsh reality and scared that something like that could happen again. You could feel guilty for surviving or not doing enough and is willing to point the blame at everyone for what happened. You could feel shame for having these feelings and fears. All of these feelings are normal and should be accepted for what they are. Physical symptoms can include a pounding heart, trembling, shaking, a lump in throat, stomach tightening, racing thoughts, cold sweats, and feeling dizzy or faint.
Ways in which you can recover from a traumatic event is by minimizing the view of event exposures. Do not watch the news and stay away from social media for days or weeks until you feel more at ease. If you still want to be caught up in what is going on, it is best to read the newspaper. In order to avoid feeling helpless and connect with others, you can volunteer for an important cause. It can also be helpful to participate in the memorials or other rituals focused on the traumatic event to better connect with other survivors and hear stories of the ones whose lives were lost or badly injured.
Physical activity for thirty minutes every day can rouse your nervous system from feeling stuck and can release feel good endorphins. Hang out with your friends and do activities you normally did with them that made you happy. Listen to songs, pet your dog or cat, or smell your favorite aromas. If the physical and emotional symptoms still persist after six weeks, it is best to see a trauma specialist to help you move forward from the tragedy.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle offers patients therapies are tailored into a personalised treatment programme that suits the needs of the individual such as trauma (PTSD). For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.
Last updated & clinically assessed 26 March, 2021