Saint Louis University

Traumatic Event Related Stress

When adults have the following signs, they might need crisis counseling or stress management assistance:

  • Difficulty communicating thoughts.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives.
  • Low threshold of frustration.
  • Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
  • Limited attention span.
  • Poor work performance.
  • Headaches/stomach problems.
  • Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
  • Colds or flu-like symptoms.
  • Disorientation or confusion.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Reluctance to leave home.
  • Depression, sadness.
  • Feelings of hopelessness.
  • Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
  • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.

Easing Disaster or Traumatic Event Related Stress

The following are ways to ease disaster-related stress:

  • Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow, and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.
  • Seek help from professional counselors at Student Health and Counseling or Employee Assistance who deal with post-disaster or post traumatic stress.
  • Do not hold yourself responsible for the disastrous or traumatic event. Do not become frustrated because you feel you cannot help directly.
  • Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, and meditation.
  • Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family.
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Participate in memorials.
  • Use existing support groups of family, friends, and religious institutions.
  • Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your disaster supplies kits and updating your family disaster plan. Doing these positive actions can be comforting.

Modified from U.S. Fire Administration information

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