15 Common Post-Trauma Stress Reactions

It is not uncommon to have symptoms after you have experienced a traumatic event.  These are called stress reactions. After 9/11, The APA (American Psychological Association) put out a bulletin describing these symptoms.  If you, or someone who know has been through a traumatic event, look for the following symptoms.

 The APA’s list of symptoms (accepted by most professionals) associated with reactions to trauma are:

  1. Recurring thoughts or nightmares about the event
  2. Trouble sleeping
  3. Appetite problems
  4. Anxiety and fear, especially if you are in a situation that reminds you of the original trauma
  5. Being edgy, easily startled or overly alert
  6. Depression, sadness
  7. Low energy
  8. Memory and recall problems
  9. Feeling “scattered” and unable to focus
  10. Trouble making decisions
  11. Getting angry or irritable easily
  12. Feeling numb or disconnected from others
  13. Spontaneously crying, feeling hopeless
  14. Feeling fearful about the safety of others
  15. Being unable to face certain aspects of the trauma

Most stress reactions subside after a month.  No one has all of the symptoms listed above.  If you or someone else has a lot of them (there is not magic number), seriously consider seeking professional psychological help.

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