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Coping with New Emotions

It is typical for people to experience a variety of emotions following such a traumatic event. These feelings can include shock, sorrow, numbness, fear, anger, disillusionment, grief, confusion, and others. You may find that you have trouble sleeping, concentrating, eating, or remembering even simple tasks. These feelings and physical responses are common, and you are not alone. 


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Tips to Help You Navigate and Cope with this Tragedy

1. Talk About It.

When a tragedy occurs, it's easy to become overwhelmed, so it's important to talk about your thoughts and feelings. This can be with a friend, family member, trusted person in your life, or a licensed professional, like those at Sunrise! It is okay to ask for support and speaking with others helps with sorting through feelings and releasing pent-up energy. 

2. Honor Your Feelings.

It is common to have a range of emotions after a traumatic incident. You may experience intense stress, similar to the effects of a physical injury. For example, you may feel exhausted, sore, or off balance. 

3. Take Care of Yourself. 

It is easy to withdraw and reduce self-care. Enhance your ability to cope with the stress by engaging in healthy behaviors, such as eating well-balanced meals, getting plenty of rest, building physical activity into your day, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs. Establish or re-establish routines, such as eating meals at regular times and following an exercise program. If you are having trouble sleeping, relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga may be helpful. 

4. Give Yourself Time and Grace.

Grief is a long process. Give yourself time to experience your feelings and to recover. For some, this might involve staying at home; for others, it may mean getting back to your daily routine. Dealing with the shock and trauma of such an event will take time. It is typical to expect many ups and downs, including "survivors guilt," or feeling bad that you escaped the tragedy while others did not. 


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If you or someone you know experiences any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing PTSD, which is common following a traumatic event: 

  • Recurring thoughts or dreams about the traumatic event 

  • Feelings of fear, anger, or stress

  • Feelings of constant alertness or needing to be “on guard”

  • Avoiding activities that remind you or trigger your trauma

  • Rapid heart rate and restlessness

Depression Consistent Trauma

Additionally, being mindful of symptoms such as feeling down or sad more days than not for at least 2 weeks, having little to no interest in previously enjoyable activities, increased sleep, significant changes in eating habits, increased hopelessness, and/or difficulty concentrating. If you or someone you know is living with these symptoms, you may be experiencing trauma-induced depression. 

In the event you are struggling with PTSD, heightened anxiety, or depression, there are options! Call us today to meet with one of our licensed therapists and/or psychiatric providers for medicated treatment options. 



Helpful Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Toll-Free: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889) 



Disaster Distress Hotline 

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to get help and support 24/7.


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