We see and read about Trauma and catastrophes that happened to people every day. No one ever believes that a catastrophe or major traumatic event will ever happen to them. Car accidents, plane crashes, medical emergencies, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and criminal assaults are only some of the traumas people experience on a daily basis somewhere in this world. No one can ever be ready for such major traumatic events, but anyone, at any time, can suffer tragedies and unexpected losses. It’s impossible to walk away from a trauma unchanged as its aftermath can be really challenging.

Re-experiencing the traumatic event

It’s difficult to control your mind and prevent it from replaying the memory over and over again. We try to analyze our reaction in that moment and whether we could or should have done something differently. The ‘’Why me?’’ question pops very often as we try to make some sense of the experience, the University of California notes.

Sleep changes

Mindset Synergy point out that a person who undergoes a traumatic experience most often can’t sleep for the first few nights following the event.

Nightmares happen because our brain is still trying to process the experience and analyze it. Nightmares are not necessarily the same as the traumatic experience but are always somehow connected to it. People dream someone is chasing them or they are in other sorts of danger. This is a really bad stage as the person might not want to go to sleep at all because they know nightmares are waiting for them.


Most of the time, there is no logical trigger or reminder of the trauma but flashbacks and intrusive memories keep coming to the person unexpectedly. Trauma recovery writes that "it is like it is still happening or happening all over again." They can also be triggered by something the person heard, saw or did. This can cause nervousness, crying and inability to realize the person is in the here and now and that the traumatic experience had finished.

Feeling of guilt and shame

We may feel guilty for the way we reacted, thinking we could and should have done better. People sometimes blame themselves thinking they did something to deserve the experience. Guilt is very Common in situations when someone died in the event while the other person survived. This person may feel ‘survivor guilt’ thinking they should have died instead of their friend or loved one. The feeling of shame can cause the person to hide from the world.

This is very common in the case of rape. Rape Crisis explains, "Where combat veterans suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, rape survivors experience similar symptoms on a physical, behavioral and psychological level." Sometimes the victim feels ashamed and humiliated and they just hide, blame themselves and never talk about it.

Anger, anxiety, and feeling helpless

Many different emotions are mixed in the victim of a trauma. They might direct these emotions at their loved ones and try to find someone who is guilty of all they went through. The person becomes anxious when faced with reminders of the trauma and they dread it could happen again. The person feels helpless and unable to deal with anything similar ever again.

When dealing with the aftermath of trauma, the worst thing possible is to just suppress everything and not deal with it at all. All of these reactions lead to healing in the long run. It is always advisable to seek professional advice and talk to an expert but if you are not able to do that, sharing all you feel with a trusted person will help a lot.

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