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Jury service is an essential part of our justice system and can be very rewarding. Being on a jury can also be stressful. Your jury service probably disrupted your work and home schedule. It is possible you were asked to hear difficult testimony or review graphic evidence or images.
People react differently to being exposed to such materials. For some, it may cause stress reactions which can occur hours, days, or even months later.
Serving on a jury is not a common experience and may cause some jurors to have temporary 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.
Some temporary signs of distress following jury service include anxiety, sleep or appetite changes, moodiness, fear, trouble dealing with issues or topics related to the case, decreased concentration, a desire to be by yourself, or memory problems. Symptoms may come and go, but will eventually go away. To help yourself, it is important to admit any symptoms you may have and deal with any unpleasant reactions..
If you find that you are having more than a little difficulty after completing your jury service, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may want to try relaxation techniques such as
deep breathing, exercise, or meditation. If problems persist, the Office of Jury Commissioner (1-800-THE-JURY (843-5879)) may be able to assist or offer referrals.
Additional resources include:
of Mental Healthmass.gov/dmh
United Way Helpline
National Alliance on Mental Illness
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration Helpline
Locate a treatment program:http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov
You can also find local resources by asking your physician,
or using the Internet
to search terms like “mental health resources” with the name of your town.
You have performed a service vital to our democracy. People may express their differing opinions on a verdict, but remember that you heard and considered all the evidence, and delivered a fair and impartial verdict.
This information is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing a stress reaction, you can seek assistance from your physician, Employee Assistance Program, local community mental health center, a therapist, or a help line. You can also contact the Office of Jury Commissioner for assistance.
If you are fearful of retaliation or you are threatened after the trial, tell the court and/or law enforcement immediately.
Stress reactions may manifest as physical (headaches, nausea, lethargy), mental (distractibility, inability to concentrate), emotional (anxiety, moodiness, or fear) or behavioral (increased isolation, drug or alcohol use).
These reactions may resolve themselves but it’s important to recognize their existence so you can seek assistance should they persist.
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