Coping with a crisis

Trauma can affect both your body and your mind.

A traumatic event might be a personal tragedy, such as being in a car crash or losing a loved one. Just seeing or hearing about devastating events can feel distressing, even if you aren’t per-sonally involved.

People respond to crises in different ways. It’s common to feel sad, vulnerable or anxious. But if you continue to feel afraid and upset weeks or months later, consider seeking professional help. You may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. These conditions can affect people of any age.

Children are especially sensitive to violent events or disasters. They may feel intensely hurt or frightened and find it difficult to recover. Like adults, kids need emotional support from loved ones. They may also need medical care and counseling.

A crisis turns your world upside down.

After experiencing a crisis, people may feel dazed or even numb. They may also feel sad, helpless, or anxious. In spite of the tragedy, some people just feel happy to be alive.

It is not unusual to have bad memories or dreams. You may avoid places or people that remind you of the disaster. You might have trouble sleeping, eating, or paying attention.

Many people have short tempers and get angry easily.

These are all normal reactions to stress.

It will take time before you start to feel better.

You may have strong feelings right away. Or you may not notice a change until much later, after the crisis is over. Stress can change how you act with your friends and family. It will take time for your life to return to normal. Give yourself time to heal. These steps may help you feel better A crisis disrupts your life. There is no simple fix to make things better right away. But there are actions that can help you heal.

These steps may help you feel better

A crisis disrupts your life. There is no simple fix to make things better right away. But there are actions that can help you heal.

Try to:

» Follow a normal routine as much as possible.
» Eat healthy meals. Be careful not to skip meals or to overeat.
» Exercise and stay active.
» Help other people in your community as a volunteer. Stay busy.
» Accept help from family, friends, co-workers or clergy. Talk about your feelings with them.

Sometimes the stress can be too much to handle alone

Ask for help if you:

» Are not able to take care of yourself or your children.
» Are not able to do your job.
» Use alcohol or drugs to get away from your problems.
» Feel sad or depressed for more than two weeks
» Think about suicide.
» If you need help finding a physician call, 1-800-424-DOCS (3627).

If you or someone you know is having trouble dealing with the crisis ask for help. Talk to a counselor, your doctor, or community organization, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).

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About briandmahan

Following a catastrophic automobile accident several years ago, I began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was hit by one of two cars that were racing on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles. And, although I walked away from the accident, I began to have several FULL-BLOWN panic attacks a day (I didn’t even know they were panic attacks; I just thought I was going crazy). But, after just a few sessions with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, my anxiety and panic attacks ceased and I haven't had one in 9 years. In fact, my life changed so dramatically and quickly, I decided to train in the same technique. Upon completing a three-year training program studying Somatic Experiencing, the work of Peter Levine, PhD., my self-obsessed passion for healing and personal transformation shifted. I've been blessed to be able to help and assist other survivors of unresolved past traumatic events, who suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depression and Stress to feel safe, joyful and to take take control of their lives again. And, now, I consider that car wreck to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s my passion for the past 9 years to share my story, experience, and know-how with others, like you, who may simply have been trying to heal with the wrong approaches. (You can’t heal a toothache by getting a massage.) I am not a psychologist, a medical doctor or a spiritual healer. I am a trauma survivor. And I have come to understand that PTSD, anxiety, panic, stress and depression are physiological conditions more so than they are psychological disorders. I hold retreats, workshops and free seminars, focused on establishing a sense of safety and re-awakening embodiment through healing stress and trauma. I also offer one-on-one sessions both face-to-face for local clients and by Phone and SKYPE for clients nationwide and internationally.
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