Below I have listed the stages we go through after experiencing a trauma.

Stage One
These are the first symptoms and they usually occur shortly after the accident. They are immediate symptoms:

  • Extreme feeling of helplessness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea with vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Headaches and pain
  • Excessive shaking
  • Nightmares
  • Inability to sleep
  • Tingling in the arms

Stage Two
These symptoms usually occur within six months of the incident and last less than six months. This is considered the Acute Phase and anxiety increases if victim can’t talk about the trauma:

  • Increased anxiety (wants retribution)
  • Inability to work/concentrate
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Ongoing weakness and tiredness
  • Avoidance of situations/places that remind/trigger memories
  • Constant thoughts about the incident and/or death or dying
  • Preoccupation which can lead to accidents on the job
  • Flashbacks
  • Marital problems
  • Disinterest in sex

Step Three
These symptoms usually develop within six months and last longer than six months. This is called the Chronic Phase.

  • Chronic, exaggerated, depressive symptoms
  • Preoccupation with disability and pain
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness
  • Increased anxiety and symptoms of physical problems


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