Six Signs of Trauma & How to Respond

Story by Meeting Street Schools / May 17, 2022

In the US, 70% of adults and 1 in 7 children have felt some form of serious physical or emotional harm, also known as trauma, at least once in their lifetime. Trauma is a response to anything that breaks our feeling of safety, like a serious injury, risk of death, natural disaster, an unsafe living situation, separation from a loved one, and/or any type of abuse.

Upsetting events can change how a person may feel or think. While trauma signs are different for each person, here are some common signs to look for.

  • Trouble staying focused
  • Changes in mood, behavior, and/or eating habits
  • Having a hard time sleeping
  • Withdrawal from loved ones or favorite activities
  • Having little or no hope
  • Pains in the body that don’t seem to have a physical cause

Watching someone you love deal with the results of trauma can be very hard. Here are some tips on how to best respond.

  1. Be emotionally and physically available. The person may not always want to talk, but it feels good to know someone is there if they need to talk.
  2. Listen with care. When the person does talk about the upsetting event, welcome their feelings and how they decide to handle the event.
  3. Be supportive. Returning to a normal schedule after an upsetting event can be hard. Be helpful by volunteering to do household jobs, get groceries or other tasks they may need done.

If a person cannot deal with their strong feelings, finds it hard to return to a normal schedule, and keeps thinking about the upsetting event, suggest looking for help from a trained mental health counselor or therapist. To learn more about trauma visit ,,, or

Chelsea Tolbert

By Chelsea Tolbert

Chelsea Tolbert is a North Charleston native and is going into her fourth year as a PreK-2nd Grade Counselor for Meeting Street at Burns.


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