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Psychological ShockPsychological shock is when you experience a physical reaction in response to a traumatic event. It can be from a number of traumatic events, like a car accident, going through a breakup, witnessing something scary, or any other kind of event that can lead to feelings of fear. By recognizing when you go into psychological shock, you will be able to make much better decisions.

Symptoms of Psychological Shock

A major symptom of psychological shock is when you feel a surge of adrenaline. You may feel physically sick and find it hard to think straight. Your chest might feel tight, and you may experience a disconnection from what is actually happening—like watching a movie of events, compared to actually being there.

You could also be faced with moments where you want to scream or yell at the traumatic moment you are experiencing, as well as feeling like you want to run away. These symptoms are part of your fight or flight response. Your body is preparing to come up with a fast, instinctive reaction.

What to Do While in Psychological Shock

Unless quick action is absolutely necessary, try to take deep breaths and make yourself calm before you do anything. You do not want to make a poor decision that you will regret later. For example, you could have accidentally hit a dog with your car and ran away.

You know that a hit-and-run is a crime and an immoral act, compared to calling the police. But your body is trying to protect itself, so it may instinctively decide for you to make a run for it. Give yourself some time to breathe to make a rational decision instead.

The same can be said if you are pulled over by an officer for speeding. It may be hard for you to listen to the officer’s instructions as you are in total shock, so ask to repeat back the instructions, if needed.

What to Do After Being in Psychological Shock

It may take a few hours for your body to return back to normal. You may be in pain once the adrenaline surge wears off, as your muscles unconsciously tend to stiffen up because of your fight or flight responses. You do not need to do anything else as you wait for your body to return to normal. Taking control of yourself when you are in psychological shock will allow you to make smart decisions.

Finding a way to calm yourself when faced with a traumatic event can help you respond more appropriately, but addressing the effects of trauma is still important. At The Guest House, we provide treatment for addiction and mental illness caused by trauma. We offer a multitude of treatment options such as breath work, equine therapy, art therapy, grief therapy, cinema therapy mindfulness, individualized and group therapy, and more to treat the troubling effects of your trauma. Call us today at (855) 876-3884 to learn more about how we can help.