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People who have experienced a traumatic event often demonstrate changes in behavior. These suggestions may reduce the probability of long-term stress reactions. If you are working closely with those who have experienced traumatic events, these suggestions may also be useful in helping you retain your emotional balance and perspective.


  • get enough rest
  • maintain a good diet and exercise program
  • find time and talk to supportive peers and family about incident
  • take time for leisure activities
  • follow a familiar routine
  • spend time with family and friends
  • discuss this traumatic event with a professional in a group or individually, if you chose to
  • create a serene scene to escape either visually or literally
  • take one thing at a time
  • expect the experience to bother you
  • seek professional help if your symptoms persist
  • seek medical assistance if your physical symptoms concern you


  • drink alcohol excessively
  • use drugs or alcohol to numb consequences
  • withdraw from significant others
  • reduce leisure activities
  • increase caffeine intake
  • have unrealistic expectations for recovery
  • look for easy answers
  • take on new major projects
  • pretend everything is ok
  • make major changes if you don't need to

This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you experience physical symptoms which cause you concern, please consult your physician.

Call Your EAP

If you want to speak with someone about your experience, or if you would like a stress management consultation, contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Federal or federalized employees can call 1-800-222-0364 (TTY 1-888-262-7848). The FOH EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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A component of the U.S. Public Health Service  Bullet  Department of Health and Human Services

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