Feelings you may experience following a traumatic event


  • disbelief at what has happened
  • event may seem unreal
  • feeling numb


  • of damage to oneself or death
  • panicky feelings
  • strong irrational feelings or phobias


  • general irritability and angry outbursts
  • feelings of injustice and senselessness
  • anger at what caused this to happen
  • "why me" is often asked


  • diminished feelings
  • feelings of detachment
  • feeling estranged or isolated from others


  • for feeling and acting helpless
  • not reacting as you would have liked
  • for having survived while others didn't
  • at feeling "responsible" for another person's death


  • feelings of loss
  • feeling alone

These feelings are experienced by most people who have been through a traumatic event. They may only last for a short time or, on the other hand, they may last for months or even years. Of course, you may not necessarily experience all of the above feelings. Your feelings may differ depending on the nature of the event. Typically, it has been shown that following a specific incident, people generally react in similar ways. The following three examples highlight the range of feelings people may experience after a particular incident. Note, however, that many of the situations share a common link.