Have You Experienced Any of These Common Reactions to Stress or Trauma?
There are many different ways that people react to stressful life events. Some very common reactions include:
- Having nightmares or trouble sleeping. When a traumatic event happens to you, it takes time to process what happened and what it means. After severe stress or trauma people tend to keep thinking about what happened in order to process it. Nightmares are one way of processing what happened.
- Intrusive thoughts, or thinking about it all the time. This is another way to process what happened. Just like nightmares, intrusive thoughts are a problem because they make you feel upset and can be stressful.
- Wanting to avoid thinking about it. This is natural, since it is upsetting to think about past stress or trauma, and it can make you feel many different emotions. Avoiding it makes things easier, but only temporarily. It’s important to process what happened sooner or later. So while avoiding it sometimes makes sense, you have to set aside time to process it also.
- Avoiding places, people, or things that make you think about it. Just like not wanting to think about the trauma, avoiding situations that remind you of what happened can help you feel better in the moment. The problem with this, though, is that it keeps you from doing activities that may be an important part of your life.
- Feeling scared for no reason. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you can start to feel out of control or even crazy. These symptoms do not mean you are going crazy. They are all common reactions to stress or trauma.
- Inability to remember parts of the trauma. This is very common. The stressful event(s) can be so difficult that your memory doesn’t work the way it usually does. Sometimes it gets easier to remember it later, and sometimes it gets harder. This can be frustrating but it’s normal.
- Decreased concentration. With all the stress you are experiencing, and all the time you are spending thinking about what happened, it can be hard to concentrate on what you are doing at home or on what friends or family say to you.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your stress and conquer your trauma.
Work with our Behavioral Health Consultants and use the Stress Management Worksheet to document and prioritize your stressors.
Call 785.841.7297 to schedule an appointment and take charge of your mental health today!