Learn more about common feelings and actions after trauma, things that can help, and guidance for family members supporting a loved one after trauma.

Common Feelings and Actions After Trauma

  • Anger, Depression, and/or Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Change in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Wanting to hurt the person who hurt you
  • Physical signs of stress: headache/stomachache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being shocked or afraid
  • Feeling guilty because you could not prevent the violent act
  • Feeling embarrassed to tell your friends or family
  • Loss of control or powerlessness
  • Isolating yourself from friends or shutting down
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Mood swings

Things That Can Help

  • Talk about your experience with someone non-judgmental and who is positive and understanding.
  • Share your feelings – It is very natural to want to talk to someone when you're feeling down or a crisis has occurred. There are professionals who are trained to help you deal with stress and life changes. These professionals are experienced in working with people who have survived trauma and can assist you in recovering and healing.
  • Build Resources – this includes staying connected to positive family members, friends, teachers, coaches, siblings, faith-based resources, and other supportive community members.

Family Members

  • Take care of yourselves by eating, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting some rest.
  • Remain calm in front of your loved one; remember s/he may be affected by your reactions.
  • Listen to your loved one vent and do not try to have answers for everything.
  • Validate the event and your loved one's feelings about it.