After a difficult incident, you may experience some stress reactions. This current state of being does not indicate any form of permanency, and as time passes, the likelihood is that you will eventually begin to feel better, as the intensity of the reactions decrease accordingly with the integration of the experience.
Even when we witness or we are the cause of a situation or an incident , it is still justified to have adverse reactions and need help. The same applies if we are not in physical proximity to the actual critical incident.
From a person-centered point of view, a person's upset, distress or trauma is always entirely valid.
Those stress reactions may include:
Reduced concentration and memory
Intrusive thoughts about the event
Repeatedly playing parts of the event over in the mind
Confusion or disorientation
Fear, anxiety, panic
Shock; difficulty believing what has happened, feeling detached and confused
Unwillingness to connect with others
Withdrawal from those around them
Continuing alarm: feeling like the danger is still there or the event is continuing
Feeling let–down: after the crisis is over, exhaustion may become obvious
Fatigue or exhaustion
Nausea, vomiting and dizziness
Increased heart rate
Avoiding reminders of the event
Inability to stop focusing on what occurred
Getting immersed in recovery-related tasks
Losing touch with normal daily routines
Changed appetite, such as eating a lot more or a lot less
Turning to substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, and coffee
Recognize that you have been through a distressing or frightening experience and that you may therefore experience reactions to it
Accept that you may not feel your normal self for a period, but that it will eventually pass
Sometimes we need some kind of help method to accelerate this process.
Avoid overuse of alcohol or drugs to help you cope.
Avoid making major decisions or big lif changes until you feel better.
Confront what has happened; don’t try to block it
Instead of telling yourself Stop thinking about it, say ‘I acknowledge that I think about….or that I feel….’
Avoid bottling up your feelings; talk to someone who can support and understand you.
find a private space and talk out loud, scream, hit a pillow, write and read it out loud, etc.
In time, try to keep to your normal routine.
Try not to go out of your way to avoid certain places or activities
When you feel exhausted, make sure you set aside time to rest.
Make time for regular exercise. It helps your body and mind.
Help your family and friends to help you by telling them what you need, such as time out or someone to talk to.
Use relaxation techniques such as yoga, breathing or meditation, or do things you enjoy, such as listening to music or gardening.