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Home » Ask the Therapist » I Witnessed an Acquaintance’s Death and Can’t Get Over It

I Witnessed an Acquaintance’s Death and Can’t Get Over It

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From India: I’m 18 years old, and last year I witnessed an accident where someone I knew bled to death in front of me, after which there were a lot of rumours about what had happened. After that, I changed a lot, or atleast that’s what most people say. I lost a few friends and I feel like I’m being inconsistent with my old self which bothers me quite frequently, although I am trying to make peace with it.

Although it feels like I’m over the trauma of that incident, I sometimes have flashbacks of it. I often get depressed for no reason, and sometimes angry with my friends even if they haven’t done anything wrong so I end up trying to distance myself from them. I get really angry frequently and I have phases where I hate everything and am angry at almost everyone. I feel like no one understands what’s going on in my mind and no one really cares, and sometimes when I’m upset and no one notices I get really mad at not getting any attention. Sometimes, I start to cry all of a sudden for no reason and I just want to figure out why this is happening and why my emotions are so unstable.

I Witnessed an Acquaintance’s Death and Can’t Get Over It

Answered by on -

A.

I’m so, so sorry you went through such an awful experience. I don’t think you are “over the trauma”. From what you wrote, you have the usual symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is not unusual or shameful after an experience like that.

Please take care of yourself by getting help from a mental health provider who will both understand what you are going through and offer you the specific help you need to manage your thoughts and feelings. If you could manage the trauma by yourself, you would have done so already. Please, please get yourself the help you need and deserve.

I wish you well,
Dr. Marie

I Witnessed an Acquaintance’s Death and Can’t Get Over It

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Witnessed an Acquaintance’s Death and Can’t Get Over It. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 9, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/06/01/i-witnessed-an-acquaintances-death-and-cant-get-over-it/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 1 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.