University Counseling Center (UCC)
Typical Responses to Tragedies
- Shock and disbelief: immediately after a learning about such a disaster, many people may feel numb, or feel like such an event can't quite be real.
- Speculation about what happened and seeking more information, such as listening to or watching the news, checking the web for updates, talking to others about what you each know or have heard.
- Feeling sadness or anger about the tragedy and discussing this with family, friends, colleagues.
- Wanting to check in with loved ones, even if they are not close to the disaster, or in any immediate danger. It is normal to want to touch base with someone you care about.
In the hours and days following such tragedies, the shock begins to wear off, and more feelings may emerge, such as sadness and anger. It is important to share these feelings with people that you trust. For some people, the level of feelings or the kinds of questions that emerge may indicate that additional counseling support would be helpful.
Circumstances or signs that may lead you to seek additional counseling support:
- Is this event bringing up recollections of previous loss, trauma, or crisis that you or a loved one have faced?
- Are your experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety, tension, fear for your safety, insomnia, nightmares, concentration problems, irritability, or rage?
- Are you crying more than usual in response to sadness?
- Are you increasing your use of alcohol/drugs in order to cope?
- Are you wondering what to tell your family about this event or how they will react?
If you are experiencing any of these circumstances, or just wish to talk to a counselor for additional support, call the Counseling Center at 275-3113.