What to Expect When Confronting Distressing Material

Recalling a traumatic event can bring up a lot of unexpected sensations and emotions. Sometimes it can feel like living the experience all over again. The following are the kinds of sensations and emotions that can arise when recalling traumatic experiences. It’s also normal to experience these symptoms as a reaction to distressing material.

Physical Sensations
❤️ Elevated heart rate
💨 Tightness in your chest, or having a hard time breathing
🐝 Feeling shaky or buzzy
😖 Physical pain, body aches, headaches, digestion issues, and nausea
🤢 Lack of appetite
🥱 Difficulty sleeping

🙀 Feeling fear or a rush of adrenaline
🙈 Feeling shame, guilt, or embarrassment
🤬 Feeling anger or rage
😳 Feeling powerless

Mental Symptoms
⚡️ Racing thoughts
💡 Trouble focusing
💭 Unpleasant memories or images surfacing
😱 Nightmares or bad dreams