In this article, you will understand how to recover from Trauma, and will find your way to recover from the ugly situation.
Recovering from Trauma can be challenging, but with time, support, and self-care, it is possible to heal and move forward.
In this article, you will understand the primary and secondary recovery from a traumatic event, encourage the readers to seek help, and agree that Trauma is part and parcel of being a human.
Studies have shown that uplifting movies can elevate your mood and boost your spirits. The emotional impact of movies and the chemical release of endorphins can work together to help uplift depression and improve our overall mental health.
It’s intrinsic to be afraid after something scary or dangerous happens. When you feel in danger, your body responds with a flow of chemicals that make you more alert, called a “flight or fight” response.
It helps us survive life-threatening situations. But the brain’s response to frightening events can also lead to chronic physical and mental problems.
A traumatic experience that causes a threat to our safety and potentially places our own life at risk. As a result, a person experiences high levels of emotional, psychological, and physical distress that temporarily disrupts their ability to function normally in day-to-day life.
When the person consistently experiences
If these symptoms last more than a month and interfere with their social, occupational, and personal life, it is a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Most of us link post-traumatic stress symptoms with veterans and war situations. However, all sorts of Trauma happen during one’s life that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
It includes people who have been through a physical or sexual assault, abuse, accident, or natural disaster. Anyone can develop PTSD at any age.
In Fact, according to a survey, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
Now that we know what Trauma means and what causes Trauma. Let’s dive into the types of Trauma and ways of recovering from these traumatic events. There are two types of Trauma:
People with primary Trauma refer to a traumatic event that occurs directly to the individual. For example, a person experiencing a car accident may have direct Trauma from a horrific car accident.
On the other hand, secondary Trauma is indirect exposure to Trauma and often occurs in professionals who work in highly stressful work environments like child abuse intervention, clinical psychologists and therapists, judges, and health care professionals.
Secondary Trauma can also occur in civilians or people who do not have high-trauma careers but are deeply impacted by stories they’re exposed to, such as watching graphic news accounts or listening to their friend’s level of a traumatic experience.
While the recovery process for every individual is unique, the interventions remain the same. However, specific primary ways to help a person overcome their traumatic experience.
Educating the person who has experienced Trauma can be crucial, but they need to know the common psychological and physical reactions to Trauma.
Understanding that their reactions are entirely normal can help reduce their self-blame or self-criticism about themselves. Making them aware that everyone’s response to Trauma is different and that there is no right way to react.
It is essential to prioritize the safety of the individual experiencing Trauma. If someone is in immediate danger, they should remove themselves from the situation and seek help from the authorities or a trusted individual.
Having a sense of safety is paramount to begin the healing process.
Building resilience is crucial for long-term recovery. The first step to Therapy is to accept that “you are you”; you have the power to overcome any situation in life.
Cultivating a positive mindset by challenging negative thoughts and focusing on strengths. Practicing self-compassion by treating oneself with kindness and understanding. It is important to celebrate your victory and acknowledge the process of recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Biofeedback are two evidence-based modalities that help to teach patients how to manage their PTSD symptoms independently.
The goal is not only to help them recover from their stressors but also to help them manage these situations if they ever happen to come again.
Returning to daily activities can be challenging after a traumatic experience. People going through this should start setting small, achievable goals to include those daily activities in their routines, including returning to work or school, engaging in hobbies, or spending time with their loved ones.
However, it is imperative to take it at their own pace and be patient to adjust to the new normal.
If required, even seek trauma-focused Therapy for your well-being.
Therapy provides a safe and confidential place for a person to talk to a professional about personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
People who seek Therapy mainly due to a traumatic event such as sexual assault, major accidents, or war veterans need special assistance and an extremely safe space from the therapist.
Those therapists who are trauma-informed or trained in trauma therapy only can take up these cases because they can be extremely sensitive for both the client and the therapist.
Trauma-Focused Therapy is a specific approach to Therapy that recognizes and emphasizes understanding how the traumatic experience impacts a person’s
The purpose of Trauma-Focused Therapy is to offer skills and strategies to assist a person in
The goal is to enable them to create a healthier and more adaptive meaning of that experience.
There are a large variety of eclectic activities or strategies that can be used within trauma-focused treatment processes. These activities differ according to the
Therapists may use varied creative strategies and activities to address memories, emotions, or problematic behaviors associated with traumatic events as a part of their therapy process.
This treatment is highly effective for youth who have experienced a traumatic event. By engaging in trauma-focused treatment, they can learn more about their share and develop better ways to address the situation.
Trauma-Focused Therapy also provides a space for their families to help them learn about normal responses to Trauma and, specifically, how it has impacted the person in their family.
It helps them re-establish
Talking to someone who has gone through a traumatic event requires the communicator to be empathetic, sensitive, and understanding. The most important thing, before anything else, is creating a safe and supportive environment.
Choosing a private and comfortable setting ensures that the person feels safe and secure without distractions and undivided attention. It’s necessary to be respectful and non-judgemental with the person, have the conversation with an open mind, and refrain from passing judgment or offering unsolicited advice.
Practice active listening by giving full attention to what the person is saying by maintaining proper eye contact, nodding in acknowledgment, and providing verbal cues to show that you are actively engaged in the conversation. It is essential to validate their emotions and express empathy.
Use statements like, “I can only imagine how difficult that must have been for you” or “It’s completely understandable that you’re feeling this way.” These statements show empathy, and they feel heard and understood.
Being mindful of the potential triggers that might re-traumatize the person, if the conversation begins to evoke intense distress, it is essential to ask them if they would like to continue or pause and give them a breather to avoid overwhelming emotions.
Trauma survivors need time to process their thoughts and emotions, especially traumatic ones. Being patient with pauses and moments of silence during the conversation helps them feel accepted and heard.
Avoiding and asking too many questions can make them feel targeted and in the spotlight.
Ask open-ended questions like, “How has this experience impacted your life?” or “What support or coping mechanisms have been helpful for you?” and respect their privacy and confidentiality.
However, how you deal with Trauma with children and adolescents is different. And here is what you can do.
Children and adolescents are more vulnerable to being traumatized by accidents, pandemics, violent crimes, and, most commonly, sexual assaults and rapes.
Today we see several cases where young girls are raped and sexually assaulted by their family members or some unknown man.
We can only imagine what it would be like for these young girls but with the proper parental support and Therapy, they can recover faster.
A traumatic event or a crisis can undermine a child’s sense of security and leave them feeling helpless and vulnerable, predominantly if the event stemmed from an act of violence such as a mass shooting or a terrorist attack.
Whether a child lived through a disturbing event, witnessed it, or experienced it, they are equally likely to be affected by an array of intense confusing, and frightening emotions.
Their response to it can significantly influence the child’s reaction to a traumatic event. Children of all ages, even independent-seeking teenagers, look to their parents for comfort and reassurance in times of crisis.
It is imperative to remember that children react to Trauma differently, and their feelings can come and go in waves. They may sometimes be moody and withdrawn or frozen with grief and fear.
Encouraging the child to share their feelings openly could be a difficult challenge because they don’t completely understand what happened to them.
Many teenagers are incredibly resistant to talking about their feelings with their parents; encourage them to confide in a trusted adult such as a family friend or a teacher before they can open up to their parents.
Many Psychologists use metaphors and short stories to help children open up about their traumatic experiences. They may use their soft toys as a prop to explain to them what they have been through and help them understand their Trauma more efficiently.
Also, after the traumatic event maintaining routines gets tricky to manage. Therefore, establishing a predictable structure and schedule for the child’s life can help them make the world seem more stable again.
Helping maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities can reduce their symptoms and make them feel better.
Flashbacks can be very common in PTSD ( Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and most people struggle to cope with flashbacks and dissociation, which may occur due to confronting triggers that remind them of the traumatic event.
Flashbacks may be temporary; they may lose all awareness of what’s happening around them and return to their traumatic event.
Flashbacks are incredibly distressful and unpredictable. It occurs when people are unaware of their triggers; however, evidence-based steps can be taken to manage better and prevent flashbacks.
One can limit their exposure to those triggers by knowing their triggers. If that isn’t possible, one can prepare ways by finding ways to cope with their reactions to stimuli.
Identifying these early signs can be effective in alleviating flashbacks and dissociations.
Grounding techniques use the five senses to keep a person “grounded” and in the present moment.
Research suggests that PTSD reduces social support, but having strong social support helps lessen the condition’s impact. Psychotherapy is another tool that can help treat significant flashbacks and dissociation.
Remember, each person’s experience is unique, and their comfort levels may vary. Be adaptable, patient, and ready to adjust your approach based on their individual needs. By demonstrating empathy, understanding, and support, you can create a space where they feel heard, validated, and supported in their healing process.