Counseling & Psychological ServicesCounseling & Psychological ServicesUniversity of Cincinnati

Counseling & Psychological Services

Coping with a Traumatic Event

Trauma occurs when an individual experiences or witnesses an event that causes them to fear for their physical safety or life. These types of events often happen suddenly or unexpectedly.    Some examples of traumatic events include, but are not limited to: sexual assault, robbery, physical assault, car accident, natural disasters, and witnessing or engaging in combat battle. 

 

Although trauma may impact people differently, there are common reactions that a person may experience:

  •     Recurring thoughts or nightmares about the event
  •     Recurrent sleeping and/or eating problems
  •     Feeling anxiety when you are exposed to situations that remind you of the event
  •     Being easily startled or becoming overly alert
  •     Feeling depressed or sad and having low energy
  •     Engaging in alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco to seek relief
  •     Difficulty focusing on school or daily activities
  •     Feeling irritable, easily agitated, or angry and resentful
  •     Feeling emotionally “numb”, withdrawing from people
  •     Crying, feeling a sense of despair and hopelessness
  •     Avoiding thoughts, feelings, activities, or places that remind you of the event

For some individuals the reactions may be temporary, and you may notice that they go away within weeks of the traumatic event.  For others the reaction may be more long term and manifest in the days, weeks, or months after the traumatic event.  If you are experiencing any of the above reactions, seeking help from a professional would be suggested.   Often seeking help immediately after the event helps to minimize the possible long term effects of the event and helps the individual cope with what has happened.  CAPS provides counseling services to students who have been impacted by a traumatic event and may be experiencing distressing thoughts, feelings, and reactions.  To schedule an appointment you may come into our office in 225 Calhoun St Suite 200 or call us at 513-556-0648 between the hours of 8am-5pm.