Human Reactions to Traumatic Events

Written by

Prof. Louis Downs, PhD


During a time of intense crisis there are many who attempt to give advice, console or uplift spirits. Instead, I have written this article to provide insights into the human reaction to disasters and provide information about the psychological effects of psychological trauma, so that readers can sort their own reactions and clinical and crisis professionals have a resource. This article consists of excepts from a manual I wrote for disaster mental relief, which has been published in 5 nations.


It is my hope that this information will help some recognize their own responses so that they can become more resilient or to aid recognition of unhealthy or inadequate reactions in others in their own communities. We are all in this one together.

Excerpts from:

Downs, Louis L., (2017), The Disaster Relief Mental Health Training Manual, 3rd Edition. Singapore MINDEF.

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