There are as many responses to trauma as there are people who experience trauma! We are all different, have different histories, and experience events differently. Even whether an event is experienced as traumatic can vary from person to person or might impact the same individual differently at different times in their life. For example, a break-up might feel devastating at age 15 and only mildly upsetting at age 27.
Some common Reactions:
|Physical Reactions||Mental Reactions||Emotional Reactions||Behavioral Reactions|
|Nervous energy, jitters, muscle tension||Changes in the way you think about yourself, the world, and other people||Fear, inability to feel safe||Becoming withdrawn or isolated from others|
|Upset stomach||Heightened awareness of your surroundings (hypervigilance)||Sadness, grief, depression, guilt, feeling chronically empty||Easily startled|
|Rapid heart rate||Lessened awareness, disconnection from yourself (dissociation)||Intense or extreme feelings or vacillating back and forth||Becoming confrontational and aggressive|
|Dizziness||Difficulty concentrating||Inability to enjoy anything||Avoiding places or situations|
|Lack of energy, fatigue||Poor attention or memory problems||Loss of trust, emotional distance from others||Increase or decrease in sexual activity|
|Teeth grinding||Difficulty making decisions||Loss of self-esteem||Change in eating habits|
|Intrusive images||Feeling helpless||Loss or gain in weight|
|Nightmares||Numbness, lack of feelings||Restlessness|
Here is a list of reactions trauma survivors have shared:
devastation, feeling ripped apart, pain, terror, disgust, being on edge, helplessness, loss of control, feeling like i'm in a trance, wandering through a fog, overwhelmed, feel like garbage, guilt, rage, feel dirty, numbness, intimidation, suffering, fearful, wanting to die, feeling trapped, feeling like I'm gasping for air, loss of self-respect, shame, incompetence, confusion, determination, panic, disintegration, voicelessness, isolation...