If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this 3 part series, check it out here.
Signs and Symptoms of Trauma
Many people experience strong reactions (emotional and physical) immediately following the experience of a traumatic event. Most people will notice that their feelings dissolve over the course of a few days or weeks. However, for some individuals, the symptoms of psychological trauma may last longer or be severe. This can be compounded if not addressed in a timely manner. Perhaps the symptoms are a result of the nature of the traumatic event, availability of emotional support, past and present life stressors, personality types, and/or available coping mechanisms.
Some of the most common symptoms of psychological trauma may include the following:
- Intrusive thoughts of the event that may occur out of the blue
- Visual images of the event
- Loss of memory and concentration abilities
- Mood swings
- Avoidance of activities or places that trigger memories of the event
- Social isolation and withdrawal
- Lack of interest in previously-enjoyable activities
- Easily startled
- Tremendous fatigue and exhaustion
- Chronic muscle patterns
- Sexual dysfunction
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Vague complaints of aches and pains throughout the body
- Extreme alertness; always on the lookout for warnings of potential danger
- Praying more
- Praying less
- Reading scripture more
- Reading scripture less
- Going to church more
- Going to church less
- Overwhelming fear
- Obsessive and compulsive behaviors
- Detachment from other people and emotions
- Emotional numbing
- Guilt – especially if one lived while others perished
- Emotional shock
- Panic attacks
As you can see, the symptoms are varied, impacting many areas of life, and affect each individual differently. Up next in this series, we will look at some of the effects of trauma.
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