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Signs of Trauma and Distress

We all face trauma, adversity, and other stresses throughout our lives. When people  think of trauma, they often think of things like abuse, terrorism, or catastrophic events  (big ‘T’ trauma). Trauma can also be caused by events that may be less obvious but can  still overwhelm your capacity to cope, like frequent arguing at home (little ‘t’ trauma). Trauma of any kind can be hard on your mental health, but working on becoming more resilient can help you feel more at ease. (MHA, 2020)

Know the Signs of Stress

What follows are behavioral, physical, emotional, and cognitive responses that are all 
common signs of anxiety and stress. (SAMHSA, 2020)



•    An increase or decrease in your energy and activity levels
•    An increase in alcohol, tobacco use,
or use of illegal drugs
•    An increase in irritability, with outbursts of anger and frequent arguing
•    Having trouble relaxing or sleeping
•    Crying frequently
•    Worrying excessively
•    Wanting to be alone most of the time
•    Blaming other people for everything
•    Having difficulty communicating or listening
•    Having difficulty giving or accepting help
•    Inability to feel pleasure or have fun


•    Having stomach-aches or changes in bowel movement
•    Having headaches and other pains
•    Changes in appetite (too much/ too little)
•    Sweating or having chills
•    Getting tremors or muscle twitches
•    Being easily startled


•    Being anxious or fearful
•    Feeling depressed
•    Feeling guilty
•    Feeling angry
•    Feeling heroic, euphoric, or invulnerable
•    Not caring about anything
•    Feeling overwhelmed by sadness


•    Having trouble remembering things
•    Feeling confused
•    Having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating
•    Having difficulty making decisions


Contact Us

Matthew Case
Director of Behavior Interventions

Justin Prewitt
Coordinator of School Counseling

Danitza Pantoja
Coordinator of Psychological Services

Tracy Spitz
ERICS Program Coordinator

Jada Jackson
Coordinator of Student Services

Yasmin Dorado
Coordinator of Student Services McKinney Vento & Foster Youth