At some time in your life you are likely to experience or witness a traumatic event. Those events that involve intense fear, helplessness or horror are more likely to result in a disabling response. Examples of traumatic events are criminal assault, sexual abuse, domestic violence and stalking.

Common emotional responses include fear, guilt and anger. Common cognitive responses include impaired concentration, self-blame and intrusive thoughts. Common physical responses include sleeping difficulties, tiredness and impaired appetite. Common behaviour responses include social withdrawal and loss of interest in usual activities.

While most trauma victims recover quickly a small number do not. Some people go on to develop conditions such as Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorders.

Symptoms that constitute these disorders include intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviour, restricted emotions and increased arousal.

Some of the factors that may contribute to severe responses to trauma include the severity, duration, proximity and nature of the trauma.

Following a trauma it is important to tell your story and stay connected to close others. It is also very imoortant to continue with your normal life routine as best as possible as well as to confront your fears.

If you are continuing to have significant symptoms post trauma you will most likely require some professional help. If so please call Victims of Crime Counselling and Compensation Services on freecall 1800 00 00 55 or 93808129.

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