This section reviews ways to cope with symptoms of distress.
Not everyone feels anxiety or increased stress after jury duty. However, it may be helpful to be aware of the symptoms if they arise.
Temporary Signs of Distress
- Sleep or appetite changes
- Physical problems (headaches, stomach aches, etc.)
- Feeling guilty, fear, trouble dealing with issues or topics related to the case
- A desire to be by yourself
- Decreased concentration or memory problems
Techniques for Coping
- Talk to family members and friends-one of the best ways to put your jury experience in perspective is to discuss your feelings and reactions with loved ones;
- Maintain your normal daily routines – return to your normal schedule as soon as possible. Don’t isolate yourself. Prior to leaving the court, get names and telephone numbers of some of your fellow jurors – it may be helpful to talk to people who went through the experience with you. This can help remind you that you were part of a group, and not alone. Remember, jury service is an unusual experience and you are responding normally. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine – these substances can increase anxiety, fatigue and make sleep problems worse;
- Sleep problems – increase your daily exercise, but do not exercise before bedtime;
- Do “boring” activities before bedtime;
- Listen to relaxation tapes or relaxing music before bedtime.
Things to Think About
- Jury service is the responsibility of good citizens;
- Resist negative thoughts about the verdict;
- No matter what others think about the verdict, your opinion is the only one that matters;
- You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone;
- Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to serve on a jury. Cases may be violent and brutal which make them hard to deal with. The case is over and it is important for you to get on with your life;
- If you are fearful of retaliation or if you are threatened after the trial, tell the court and/or law enforcement immediately.
If signs of distress persist for two weeks after jury service has ended, you may wish to contact your physician, or counselor.