I was recently at an event for the consulting engineering industry that I work in and ran into a couple of fellow colleagues. During the conversation, I asked one of them how a fellow co-worker and friend of mine, who currently works for his company, was doing. The response was that “he was doing well but still dealing with the after effects of a car accident he had last year.” I had known he and his fiancée was in an accident where the vehicle they were in rolled several times. Fortunately, they both had their seatbelts on and “walked” away from the accidents with bumps and bruises.
One of the “bruises” that our fellow friend had was a severe concussion. The guy I was speaking with mentioned that our friend has had some lingering symptoms from the head/brain injury. Symptoms such as headaches, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.
While he was telling me this, I started to think about my own head “trauma” that I experienced after the death of my children. I have and still do experience many of the same symptoms he was mentioning. Although the head/brain trauma (physical) our friend experienced was completely different then the head/brain trauma (emotional) I experienced, the symptoms were very similar.
I decided to do a little research on emotional trauma and the symptoms. As a result, I came across this website that helps explain “emotional and psychological trauma” and the impacts it has on you. I was kind of surprised to see all of the symptoms that I had experienced and a few of them that I still deal with like difficulty focusing at work. I still haven’t figured out if it’s because it’s a symptom or I have learned to not really give a shit about some of the things at work. I think it’s the later most of the time.
This is an important thing to remember when you get frustrated with yourself because you feel like you are not the “old you.” It’s because you are not, you have experienced a full impact injury that is hard to see and comprehend. Call it PTSD or whatever you want to call it, but make no mistake about it, there was damage done to the brain as a result of losing your child.
This following are some of the emotional symptoms of trauma that they have listed on their website:
|· Shock, denial, or disbelief
· Anger, irritability, mood swings
· Guilt, shame, self-blame
· Feeling sad or hopeless
|· Difficulty concentrating
· Anxiety and fear
· Withdrawing from others
· Feeling disconnected or numb
Another symptom that has stayed with me is agitation. There are times when I notice (my wife also notifies me of this) myself becoming more irritable or agitated. I have noticed that the anti-depressant that I take has made a huge difference and has helped me stay calm most of the time.
What symptoms have you dealt with?
Have you sought professional help? If not, why?