Skip to main content

Potential Reactions to Trauma

It is important to understand that individuals will react to trauma differently. A student’s experience is no less valid if they react differently than you would expect them to. The following is a list of potential reactions to trauma:

  • A sense of hopelessness
  • Feeling detached or unconcerned about others
  • Feeling sad
  • Hyper arousal and becoming startled easily
  • Being withdrawn, feeling rejected or abandoned
  • Experiencing flashbacks, disturbing dreams, and memories
  • Experiencing work/school difficulties
  • Feeling shocked, numb, and not able to feel happiness or joy
  • Pounding heart, rapid breathing, and feeling edgy
  • Severe headache following thoughts of the abuse
  • Avoiding people, places, and things related to the event
  • Increased use of controlled substances
  • Experiencing difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Failure to engage in exercise, diet, safe sex, regular health care
  • Blaming oneself or having negative views of oneself or the world
  • Being irritable, agitated, or having outbursts of anger/sadness
  • Trouble eating or sleeping
  • Feeling on guard and constantly alert
  • Distrust of others
  • Loss of intimacy or feeling detached

Should you have any questions regarding how to support your students, or how to navigate these rather difficult conversations, please call the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center at 505.277.2911 to consult with one of the knowledgeable and trained staff.


Click the red escape button above or at the top of the page to immediately leave this site.

Under Title IX, sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the University of New Mexico. Sexual violence may be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance or someone with whom the victim is involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Victims of sexual violence are encouraged to report what happened to law enforcement and seek assistance from any of the resources, on and off campus, listed in this publication. 

Please contact UNM's Title IX Coordinator, Angela Catena, at for more information about Title IX.