How you may feel

Being a witness survivor can be extremely traumatic and it is likely that what you are feeling is normal. You may have had some of the reactions below. You may not, that is also completely normal because everyone reacts differently.

  • Shock
  • Experience Flashbacks
  • Guilt
  • Disbelief
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Disturbed
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritable
  • Withdrawn
  • Shock
  • Stigma
  • Nothing
  • Confused

You might also find you are:

  • avoiding the place where you witnessed the suicide
  • feeling anxious and panicky when you have to go near that place
  • not sleeping well, and/or you have disturbing dreams and nightmares
  • having disturbing thoughts you can’t block out
  • thinking about death and dying
  • having flashbacks
  • feeling generally anxious
  • wanting to be alone
  • feeling numb
  • avoiding social situations
  • losing track of time
  • more impulsive and reckless in your behaviour
  • using alcohol or drugs more than usual

You may find that you react over time and that your thoughts and feelings change. This is a completely normal reaction to trauma. If you know other witness survivors, you may find you are reacting differently. Again, this is normal as people deal with trauma in different ways.


SASP is a programme hosted by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), registered charity number 1110621 and SC044347. Copyright CALM © 2019