Practical help for managing the after-effects of traumaTraumatic life experiences can lead to persistent change. Those affected may become numb and shut off from those around them and grief, guilt or shame may constantly weigh them down. Memories of horrifying scenes may intrude unexpectedly during waking hours. Sleep may be disturbed by vivid, unpleasant dreams. Sudden mood swings, emotional overwhelm, impaired concentration, dissociation or feelings of constant alert make living difficult.Traumatic stress responses, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD), are caused by our mind and body's attempts to cope with experiences of extreme danger. They can affect and overwhelm anyone and are not a sign of personal weakness.