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Holy Smoke
Hwy 85
Riverdale, GA  30274
Phone: 770.473.7833
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CISM: Critical Incident Stress Disorder

10 Ways to Recognize Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
By: American Counseling Associations



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is in many ways a normal response to an abnormal situation.  After a tragic event, it is likely that you will experience a variety of symptoms and emotions. Sometimes, however, these symptoms surface several weeks or months after the tragedy. This is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recognizing these symptoms in yourself or others is the first step toward recovery and finding appropriate treatment.
  1. Re-experiencing the event through vivid memories or flash backs.

 

  1. Feeling "emotionally numb."

 

  1. Feeling overwhelmed by what would normally be considered everyday situations and diminished interest in performing normal tasks or pursuing usual interests.

 

  1. Crying uncontrollably.

 

  1. Isolating oneself from family and friends and avoiding social situations.

 

  1. Relying increasingly on alcohol or drugs to get through the day.

 

  1. Feeling extremely moody, irritable, angry, suspicious or frightened.

 

  1. Having difficulty falling or staying asleep, sleeping too much and experiencing nightmares.

 

  1. Feeling guilty about surviving the event or being unable to solve the problem, change the event or prevent the disaster.

 

10. Feeling fears and sense of doom about the future.

 

 

 

Coping with Critical Incident Stress

 

Within the first 24-48 hours:  Involve yourself in periods of strenuous physical exercise alternated with relaxation.  This will alleviate some of the physical reaction.

 

Structure your time.  Keep busy.

 

You are normal and having normal reactions.  Don’t label yourself crazy or weak.

 

Reach out.  People do care.

 

Talk to people.  Talk is the most healing medicine.

 

Spend time with others.  Do not withdraw from family or coworkers.

 

You don’t need to complicate this with a substance problem.  Be aware of numbing the pain with misuse of drug and alcohol. 

 

Help your coworkers as much as possible by sharing feelings and checking out how they are doing.

 

Give yourself permission to feel rotten and share your feelings with others.

 

Remember:  You can handle your feelings.  The intensity of the hurt will lessen.

 

Keep a journal.  Write down your thought and feelings.  It will keep your mind and body occupied.

 

Do things that feel good to you.

 

Realize those around you are also under stress.

 

Don’t make any big life changes.

 

Do make as many daily decisions as possible, which will give you a feeling of control over your life.  i.e, if others ask you what you want to eat, answer them even if you are not sure. 

 

Continue living!

 

 

 

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