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Cognitive distortions can slow healing process

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Assistance is needed if traumatic feelings continue to occur or affect performance of daily activities.

Feelings of anxiety after trauma are normal. In fact, they’re so normal that the director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center says,“It's common, and occasionally even helpful, for you to react to life's stresses, challenges and dangers with anxiety.”

Students who’ve dealt with trauma are especially vulnerable. During trauma, “Intellectually, you lose from 50 to 90 percent of brain capacity," Ellen McGrath of Psychology Today writes.

However, Karen L. Swartz, M.D., who directs the John Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, warns that assistance is needed when those feelings continue to persist, when they continue to occur without “obvious external triggers,” and when they continue to keep you from sleeping or performing daily activities.

Sleeping is especially important. “Stress reactions to various situations are also affected by your overall level of health. Someone who is always feeling overwhelmed, eats poorly, and doesn't get enough sleep (a description of many students) usually has a limited ability to cope with stressful events,” explains the University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center’s website.

Common Stress Reactions

  • Disbelief and shock, feeling numb
  • Feeling sad, guilty, angry or helpless
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Headaches, back or stomach pains
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Nightmares or bad memories
  • Reoccurring thoughts of the event
  • Increased substance use

Self-Care Tips

  • Slow down, take deep breaths
  • Talk about what happened
  • Get some exercise
  • Do what calms and relaxes you
  • Accept help from others
  • Help someone else
  • Notice positives & avoid blaming
  • Eat well & get plenty of rest
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Limit decisions to today’s needs
  • Connect spiritually
    • Information provided by Community Health Alliance

      Local Counseling Assistance

      On Campus Grief Sharing: available in the Bistro, 8 to 5 p.m.

      24 Hour Hot Line: available at (541) 440-3532 or (800) 866-9780

      Grief Counseling Services: Community Health Alliance Annex B, 2700 NW Stewart Parkway;

      The Ford Family Foundation, 1600 NW Stewart Parkway

      Online Resources:Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (“The center's work addresses a wide scope of trauma exposure from the consequences of combat, operations other than war, terrorism, natural and human-caused disasters, and public health threats.”) – website is cstonline.org. National Child Traumatic Stress Network (“The mission of NCTSN is to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families.”) nctsn.org