Emotional Fallout After Burglary

You read about it in the crime section of your newspaper every day. Another home is robbed in the neighborhood and the criminals escape with thousands of dollars and wreak havoc in the process. Burglary is a dramatic, chaotic, and often costly event that far too many people experience. But the effects of a burglary do not end at the end of a newspaper article.

After all of the practicalities of cleaning up, dealing with insurance, and replacing possessions are taken care—the emotional effects of crime remain.

No matter how much is taken, every burglary is serious and can cause real, deep, and lasting emotional effects. After all, someone came in to your space.

Dealing with the Emotional side of A Burglary is a Process

After a burglary, it is important to allow yourself the freedom to feel and go through the stages associated with grief and trauma. These stages include:

  • Shock and denial
  • Pain and guilt
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Strong Emotions are a Normal Reaction to an Abnormal Situation

The emotional aspect of a burglary comes as a surprise to many people, but it shouldn’t. A burglary is a huge violation and violations hurt. Sometimes it is about what was taken, such as keepsakes. Other times it is about the fact that someone breached your sanctuary and the loss of personal security that goes with it. Burglary can also cause financial and marital strains that add to the emotional burden.

Victims of a burglary commonly experience many of these feelings:

  • Depression
  • Self-blame and guilt
  • Anger
  • Fear, panic, and anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Reliving the event
  • Constantly feeling vulnerable
  • Loss of control
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of concentration

Getting Life on Track

One of the most important things a burglary causes is feeling as if you have lost control of your life. Taking care of yourself is one way to regain that control and set things back on track. Here are a few ways you can do just that:

  • Get involved in helping others
  • Stay connected to supportive friends
  • Talk to someone that can offer support like a pastor or counselor
  • Give yourself to feel the range of emotions
  • Exercising regularly and eat healthily
  • Take time to be with others
  • Schedule fun and relaxation into each day
  • Take time to be thankful
  • Take practical actions to increase your security such as installing security cameras and alarms and joining a neighborhood watch
  • Take a class in self-defense

Burglary is a serious crime with serious impact on its victims. Being proactive in taking care of the emotional after effects, however, is one of the most effective ways of taking back every aspect of your life, and coming out even stronger and wiser.

Matt Smith
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