Trauma Reactions

A victim may suffer from the shock or trauma for weeks, months or even years. Victims may suffer physical injury, financial loss, experience such emotions as anger, fright, guilt, confusion and helplessness. They may not know where to turn for help. Victim Services of Nipissing District can offer support and assistance to help reduce the effects of victimization/trauma.

Adult Common Psychological or Emotional Symptoms:

Re-experiencing the Incident

  • Recurrent and intrusive memories of the incident
  • Recurrent dreams of the incident
  • Flashbacks
  • Intense discomfort with events that remind you of the incident

Avoidance Reactions

  • Avoiding thoughts or feelings associated with the incident
  • Avoiding activities or situations that remind you of the incident
  • Inability to recall an important aspect of the incident
  • Decreased interest in people or activities
  • Feeling cut-off from yourself or others (restricted range of feelings)
  • Hopelessness about the future

Recurring Symptoms

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Change in eating habits
  • Crying easily or unusually
  • Difficulty concentrating (extreme alertness or easily startled)
  • Physical problems (e.g., headaches, stomach pains, muscle tension)

Other Common Symptoms

  • Fear of it happening again
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Increased family conflict
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Shock and/or denial
  • Difficulty coping with ordinary life
  • Odd or irrational behavior

Additional Reactions That Children May Experience

  • Regression to younger behaviours
  • Enuresis (bed-wetting)
  • Crankiness, clinging, possessiveness
  • Afraid of sleeping in their own bed
  • Increased crying over simple things
  • Night terrors
  • Separation anxiety (fear of leaving you)
  • Refusal to go to school