In the course of a lifetime most of us will experience several personally traumatic incidents. The break up of an important relationship, serious conflict within our family, failing an important exam, the death of a friend or family member, an unwanted pregnancy, a serious health problem, or being victimized by a violent act, etc., can all leave us with painful feelings and cause us to wonder, "Are these feelings normal? Do I need to see a therapist?"

There are normal reactions to these intense and/or abnormal events. Although painful, these feelings are part of the natural healing process. There's very little you can do to make yourself not experience these uncomfortable feelings, but there are things you can do to promote a healthy recovery. If you have experienced an intense personal situation or traumatic event recently, you may experience some of these reactions:

Physical Reactions

Fatigue, insomnia, hypersomnia, under-activity, headaches, nightmares, hyperactivity, startle reactions, exhaustion, diarrhea.

Cognitive Reactions

Difficulty with concentration, solving problems, making decisions, memory disturbance, flashbacks. Inability to attach importance to anything other than the incident.

Emotional Reactions

Fear, guilt, emotional numbing, over-sensitivity, anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, violent fantasies, feelings of helplessness, amnesia for the event.


If you are experiencing these feelings and they are interfering with your daily life or prohibiting you from enjoying activities you once found pleasurable, you may wish to consult a therapist. Call us at (619) 594-5220 for a phone consultation.