Considering the unrest that many of us have been affected by in parts of South Africa, we thought that the points below might be beneficial and be of interest to those that might be experiencing trauma following these events.
Phases of Trauma
Phase One – Impact Phase (first few days after the trauma)
Responses include: Shock, Feeling emotionally numb, Dissociation and disorganized thinking, Increased arousal and hyper-vigilance, Feeling regressed and helpless.
Phase Two – Recoil Phase (lasts two to four weeks)
Mood swings (anger, sadness, anxiety, nervousness, grief), Flashbacks and/or excessive thoughts of trauma and the incident, Intrusive thoughts such as ‘am I going crazy?’, Poor concentration and decision making, The individual begins to adapt.
Phase Three – Reorganisation Phase
Symptoms subside, Social and occupational functioning improve
How to Cope after Trauma or Loss
- Recognize that what you experienced was traumatic
- You might have various responses to it
- Denying or avoiding the experience might delay the healing process
- Be patient with yourself
- Spend time with others who have been through the same experience as you
- Try the empty chair technique
- Take some time for yourself