Emotional Shock: What is it?

Something’s happened – you’ve been let go from your job, someone close to you has had an accident or passed away, you’ve been dumped, kicked out or something else.

You feel many things but making sense of anything is not easy.

“Psychological shock, a form of psychological trauma, is the body’s very real stress response to experiencing or witnessing an overwhelming and/or frightening event.” Harley Therapy Counselling

You may be scared, anxious, unable to think straight, completely numb, just going through the motions. You might feel jittery, or like your heart is beating out of your chest like feelings of flight or fight response.

You might be shaky or “shivery” even if you’re not cold. These symptoms may be immediate, hours, days or even weeks later.

You might also feel like this is a very illogical response. It’s over-the-top or that you're overreacting. But we all process and experience things in a different way. No one can predict life or how we respond to it. And that's okay.

girl lying on the ground, face covered in hair

I have experienced this and it was when my mother-in-law passed away suddenly last October. I had had a bit of an eye-opening, soul-searching day on the day it happened. I’d made some pretty huge realisations about myself, my relationships and my current situation. I hadn’t quite reached the solution or the answers yet, which probably made it difficult. I had literally unpacked the can of worms and they were wriggling about causing me discomfort.

Then I got the call. It was surreal. I don’t use that word lightly. Like an out of body experience. Initially I was in auto-pilot, trying to be everything and everyone. And know exactly what to do and how to do it. But I wasn’t addressing the emotions. I couldn’t. that could be done later. Once flights were booked, bags were packed, I had had multiple anxious breakdowns by this point. We were on our way to the city, where we’d stay the night before catching a flight to Canada. That night, I barely slept… firstly we only got about three and a half hours but I tossed and turned, having weird dreams and shivering. I felt clammy and weird.

I cried a few more times, not knowing what to expect once we’d touched down. I tried to be brave and strong for my husband who had just lost his mom (she’s Canadian, I have to spell it this way). I was a mess honestly. I also felt that I needed to "suck it up" once we’d landed, that’s a tricky situation that one. I’ll save it for another time.


But, I want you to know that the emotional shock does pass. I learnt that judging myself, my feelings, or the process I went through, is absolutely pointless. And will work against you. The last thing you need is to feel like a loser because you’re losing it. And don’t let anyone else make you feel that way either. Check in with yourself. Be aware that these things happen and you’re not coping. Give yourself what you need. If that’s alone time, take yourself away. If that’s exercise, get that blood moving. If that’s sleep, go to bed. If you want to make sense of it by writing, do that. Please do not mask these feelings with “pleasurable” pastimes like food, sex, drugs or alcohol. This is a time to look after yourself. Your body needs you right now. And if you don’t at least try to let yourself feel some pain, it will bite you in the ass at a later date.

I’m sorry for such a depressing blog post but when I went through this I didn’t know what the hell was going on, who to turn to, or what to do. Maybe if this ever happens to you, you can read this blog and know that you’ll be okay. Turn to someone you trust or who cares about you. If you’re still struggling, talk to your GP about what’s going on. You might need someone outside of your family and situation to help you through it.

Take Care lovely. Reach out if you need to. I'm here for you.

Love love,

Lizah xo

#depression #professional #mum #relationship #health #happy #kindness #marriage #mentalhealth #story

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