It is important to realise that there is not one 'standard' pattern of reaction to the extreme stress of traumatic experiences. Some people respond immediately, while others have delayed reactions - sometimes months or even years later. Some have adverse effects for a long period of time, while others recover rather quickly.
Many people are able to cope effectively with the emotional and physical demands brought about by a traumatic experience by using their own support systems. For some people, however, emotional and physical symptoms persist and continue to interfere with daily living. For example, some may feel overwhelming nervousness or lingering sadness that adversely affects job performance and interpersonal relationships.