Trauma is our emotional reaction to something terrible that happens to us or around us. Examples are accidents, abuse, natural disasters or the death of someone we care about. Right after a tragedy, we might feel shock and denial. We might even feel numb and be unable to process what’s happened or how it makes us feel. As time passes, the trauma we’ve experienced can lead to a lot of pain and confusion. We may experience flashbacks of what happened, sudden moments of overwhelming emotion or physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. And all these feelings can put a strain on our relationships and impact work, school and our quality of life.

Often, the traumas we experience also affect people we care about. It’s not unusual to keep our pain to ourselves because we don’t want to upset or worry other people who are having a hard time. Or maybe we are embarrassed to share how we’re feeling or how long the pain has lasted. However, it’s important not to hold it all in. Talking about your feelings and reaching out for support can make you feel less alone and start the healing process.

If you or a friend are struggling to deal with any type of trauma or tragedy, use our resources to find help now.

Find some tips for protecting your emotional health as you work through the healing process by clicking on “Feel Better.”