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After Jury Duty

Being on a jury is rewarding, but it can be demanding. Listening to a victim's story, viewing evidence, or reading a graphic report can bring up many different feelings. While most jury duty is a low-stress experience, certain experiences are more likely to produce higher levels of stress and contribute to symptoms of vicarious trauma.

What is vicarious trauma?

Vicarious trauma describes the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual effects a person may suffer after witnessing or hearing about someone else's trauma. These feelings are common, natural, and often go away over time. But when they linger, they can impact our daily lives.

This brochure provides information about symptoms and techniques to cope and manage those feelings.

Vicarious trauma can show itself in different ways as each person has their own unique jury experience and emotional response. It helps to be aware of the symptoms and coping strategies. If symptoms begin to cause difficulty in your daily life, please reach out to a professional.

Common symptoms

  • Replaying what you saw/heard/ experienced for days after
  • Unwanted or recurring distressing thoughts from cases
  • Difficulty with concentration or memory
  • Feelings of strong guilt or pain for those who experienced the trauma
  • Feeling numb, desensitized, or disconnected from others
  • Unexplained vague heaviness in your shoulders, gut, or chest
  • Feeling "spacey" or "zoning out" (dissociation)

Coping techniques

Process: Talking can help you work through the many mixed feelings after jury service.
Sleep: Sleep is the most effective tool to help the brain work at its optimum. Sleep reduces the brain's chemical signals that produce stress hormones.
Exercise: Moving your body releases endorphins, which are known to calm and heal the brain.
Nutrition: The food we eat affects our brain health and our mood.
Spirituality: Participate in activities that help you connect with others and cultivate a broader perspective in life.
Connection: If you suffer a sprained ankle, a doctor can help you heal properly. The same applies to your brain. Connect with a professional to help address mental, emotional, or physical pain.

Additional Resources

Jackson County Health & Human Services
24/7 Crisis Line Call 541-774-8201
Walk-In Appointments Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
140 S Holly Street
Medford, OR 97501

24/7 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Call or text 988
Chat online at

Oregon Health Authority
Crisis & Trauma Resources

Trauma Informed Oregon
Vicarious trauma info and resources

National Association of Mental Illness
Call: 1-800-950-6264 I Text 62640

Translifeline: 1-877-565-8860

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: