Self-Assessment of Potential Traumatic Stress Symptoms

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During and subsequent to a traumatic experience, people often have emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physiological reactions. We need to recognize that these reactions do not necessarily portray pathological or unhealthy responses. In most cases subsequent to a trauma, individuals have what may be considered normal responses to an abnormal event. The length of the symptoms, whether they combine with other symptoms, pre-event level of functioning, and how the individual functions as time moves forward ultimately determines if the symptoms were normal under the circumstances, or if they were or became maladaptive and unhealthy.

The following is just for you & no one will see your answers. Think of a crisis, disaster or trauma to which you were exposed & from which you have recovered. If you’ve been incredibly fortunate to have no such direct exposure thus far, think about one you’ve seen on television or in the news. From the list below indicate which symptoms, if any, you experienced and how long they lasted before they resolved.


  1. Recurring nightmares about the event (more than once a week)
  2. Having trouble falling or staying asleep *
  3. Changes in appetite*
  4. Feeling irritable, angry and/or resentful*
  5. Having difficulty staying focused or concentrating
  6. Having memory problems, especially trouble recalling parts of the traumatic event
  7. Feeling fearful or avoidant of similar situations and/or people & places that remind you of the trauma
  8. Feeling emotionally dead or numb, withdrawn, different and/or disconnected from others*
  9. Crying, feeling despair and/or hopelessness*
  10. Feeling fearful and protective of loved ones
  11. Feeling depressed, sad, having lower energy than is your norm *
  12. Feeling anxious, guilty and or as if the world no longer makes sense
  13. Being hypervigilant and/or having a heightened startle response
  14. Withdrawn from usual activities
  15. Experiencing flashbacks of the trauma*
  16. Calling into question formerly firmly held religious or spiritual beliefs*
  17. Stress-related physical complaints such as headaches, stomach aches*
  18. Increase in substance use or abuse

Once you’ve done your self-assessment, submit a brief two -three paragraph to the discussion area that summarizes the coping strategies or skills that you used to recover from the trauma you personally experienced or vicariously experienced via the news. You should only include the coping skills or strategies. Please do not include your self-assessment as that is your private & personal information.

I have attached some resources you can use to help with this be sure to use the text and one additional one in the response in adddition to any other source you have

Let me know if you have any additional questions

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