What to Expect After a Stressful Event

Distributed by the GSU Student Counseling Wellness Resource Center
For More information, please visit http://www.gram.edu/student-life/services/counseling-center/ or call 318-274-3277
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When we go through stressful events, we often have strong emotional and physical reactions. Although not everyone has a strong or noticeable reaction, it is very common and quite normal for people to have emotional "after-shocks" when they have experienced a difficult event. These reactions may happen immediately, or they may happen in the days, weeks, months, or even longer following the event.

Just as the onset of these events is somewhat unpredictable, so is the course. Your reactions may last anywhere from a few hours, to days, weeks, months, or longer. Finding understanding and support from friends, loved ones, and your community often helps these reactions pass more quickly. Mental health professionals, such as those who work at the Grambling Counseling Center, can be a great, confidential, resource when coping with troublesome reactions.

Here are some common reactions to stress!

  • PHYSICAL: • Feeling Tired/Low energy, • difficulty Sleeping, • Feeling Shaky, • twitches, • Shortness of Breath, • Rapid Breathing, • Rapid Heartbeat, • Headaches, • Blurry Vision, • Nausea/Vomiting, • Thirst, Hunger, • Dizziness, • Excessive Sweating, • Weakness, • Fainting.
  • MENTAL: • Difficulty Making Decisions, • Confusion, • Poor Attention, • Placing Blame on Others, • Heightened or Lowered Alertness, • Poor Concentration, • Forgetfulness, • Poor • Problem Solving, • Feeling Disoriented, • Disturbed Thinking, • Nightmares, • Intrusive Memories, • Flashbacks, • Suicidal Ideas, • Change in Values, Search for Meaning
  • EMOTIONAL: • Anxiety, • Severe Panic, • Grief, • Denial, • Survivor Guilt/Self Blame, • Emotional Numbness, • Uncertainty, • Difficulty Controlling Emotions, • Depression, • Reduced Pleasure in Normal Activities, • Apprehension, • Intense Anger, • Irritability and Agitation, • Apathy/Boredom, • Helplessness, • Feelings of Worthlessness
  • BEHAVIORAL: • Changes in Normal Activities, • Change in Speech, • Withdrawal from others, • Emotional Outbursts, • Change in Communication, • Suspiciousness, • Agitation/Restlessness, • Substance Abuse, • Antisocial Acts, • Pacing, • Erratic Movements, • Decreased Personal Hygiene, • Diminished Sex drive • Appetite Disturbance, • Prolonged Silence

This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you experience physical symptoms which cause you concern, please consult your physician or University Health Center at (318) 274-2351

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