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At some point in their lives, many people experience a traumatic event. Trauma means different things to different people, and can include any event in which you experience a serious threat to your own life or safety, or witnessing such an event. In response to traumatic events, people have a range of reactions, including emotional (e.g. fear, sadness, helplessness, anger), physical (e.g. trouble sleeping and eating, shakiness), and cognitive (e.g. trouble concentrating, preoccupation with the traumatic event). Many people also feel numb after experiencing a traumatic event. Sometimes a person only labels an experience as traumatic in retrospect, even many years later. After experiencing a traumatic event, it is important to seek support from family, friends, other members of your community, and/or a counselor.
Although trauma affects people differently, there are some common reactions that you may experience. These signs may begin immediately, or you may feel fine for a couple of days or even weeks, then suddenly be hit with a reaction. The important thing to remember is that these reactions are quite normal; although you may feel some distress, you're probably experiencing a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
Some common responses to traumatic events
Effect on Productivity
Ways to Cope with Traumatic Stress
Talking to someone you trust is often helpful in recovering from a traumatic event. The Health Services Counseling Department is available to offer you support and guidance. Call 218-726-7913 for an appointment.