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Boston Marathon Tragedy

In the days to come, images and stories about the explosions at the Boston Marathon will dominate the media. Although trauma affects people differently, you may experience some common reactions. These signs and symptoms may begin immediately or you may feel fine for days or even weeks, then suddenly be hit with a reaction. Although you may feel abnormal, it is very normal for people to experience emotional ‘aftershocks” following a traumatic event. Some common responses are:
Physical Reactions:
Insomnia
Fatigue, hyperactivity or “nervous energy”
Pain in the neck or back
Dizzy spells
Appetite changes
Headaches
Heart palpitations or pains in the chest
Emotional Reactions:
Flashbacks or “reliving” the event
Excessive jumpiness or tendency
Anger
Irritability
Feeling vulnerable
Feelings of anxiety or helplessness
Behavioral Reactions:
Changes in normal activities
Change in speech
Substance abuse
Change in communication
Emotional outbursts
Inability to rest
Tips for Coping After a Traumatic Event:
As you are experiencing various emotions resulting from a traumatic event, below are suggestions that may help:
Physical exercise along with relaxation may help relieve the physical stress.
Talk to people; talking can be healing.
Spend time with others. Resist the tendency to isolate.
Give yourself permission to feel rotten and share your feelings with others.
Keep a journal; write your way through sleepless times.
Get plenty of rest and eat regular meals, even if you don’t feel like it.
Seek medical assistance if your physical symptoms concern you.
Follow a familiar routine.
Take one thing at a time.
If you or a loved one is feeling traumatized or vulnerable, remember that the EAP is available to help. To talk with a counselor you can contact the EAP at 410-328-5860.