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What are the signs of traumatic stress?

Learn to recognize and manage these normal reactions to traumatic or troubling events

On July 20, each of us was impacted by the senseless violence of the Century 16 theater shooting. Since then, our community has come together and remained strong as we continue to heal and rebound together.

Following any traumatic event – whether across town or halfway around the world – it is very common to experience stressful side effects – whether we were present at the event or not. Reminders of a traumatic event, such as thoughts, smells, sounds, and certain locations, can bring our minds right back to that incident or other difficult times in our past, and may begin to impact our day-to-day lives. This is why it’s important to recognize the most common signs of stress.

Common signs of traumatic stress include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nightmares or flashbacks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Change in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Irritability, moodiness or feeling emotionally numb
  • Withdrawing from friends or family
  • Feelings of fear or anxiety

Knowing these seven signs of stress that is caused by traumatic events can help you spot those who may be impacted by an event and not even know it yet. Learn to recognize these simple signs in friends, family members, colleagues – even yourself – and get connected with the services available in our community to help.

Recognizing the signs of stress and reaching out to talk to someone are key to preventing more serious health problems and are essential in the healing process. If you or anyone you know is currently dealing with any of these signs of stress, the next step is to reach out and talk with an expert who can offer suggestions on how to work through it or where to seek additional help.

Call 303-617-2300 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit www.aumhc.org.

Visit the APS Disaster Recovery website.

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