A catastrophic event, either caused naturally or by human influence, is a crisis outside
the normal realm of usual human experience.
The degree of stress victims endure during and in the aftermath of the event varies with each individual. Though many people get back to the routine of life without much trouble, some might experience adjustment problems. Reactions to these events can be unusual. Most people feel a heightened degree of helplessness and a generalized lack of control.
Typical reactions include:
- emotional numbness and shock
- nightmares and restless sleep
- feelings of loss of control and self doubt
- change in appetite
- social withdrawal
- survivor guilt (why them and not me)
- preoccupation with the traumatic event
- flu-like symptoms
- poor concentration
- feelings of insecurity
- flashbacks of the event
If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of these symptoms in response to a crisis, be assured that such reactions are normal and to be expected. Life may not come back into full swing as quickly as we'd like. The time and energy devoted to everyday experiences will need to be shared with the natural healing process. Seek help if you find that you are experiencing difficulty managing your emotions and/or performing your daily routine and commitments.