How to cope with trauma following a tragedy
FOLLOWING a traumatic event or experience, it is common for people involved or who have witnessed the incident to feel affected.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can emerge when someone has experienced such an event and, as a result, they experience feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror.
It's also not unusual for people to experience other mental health problems as well including depression, anxiety and alcohol or drug abuse. However, this is more likely to happen if PTSD has gone on for a long time.
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Signs and Symptoms
Being overly alert or wound up - The person experiences sleeping difficulties, irritability and lack of concentration, becoming easily startled and constantly on the lookout for signs of danger.
Avoiding reminders of the event - The person deliberately avoids activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings associated with the event because they bring back painful memories.
Re-living the traumatic event - The person relives the event through unwanted and recurring memories, often in the form of vivid images and nightmares. There may be intense emotional or physical reactions, such as sweating, heart palpitations or panic when reminded of the event.
- Feeling emotionally numb - The person loses interest in day-to-day activities, feels cut off and detached from friends and family, or feels emotionally flat and numb.
Source: Beyond Blue
What if I have these symptoms?
Support from family and friends is very important, however, booking an appointment with your doctor or health professional is the best option.
Alternatively, you can contact the following numbers for support:
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636