According to a study by the National Center for Post Traumatic Research Disorder, at least 7 out of every 100 people is said to have experienced PTSD at some point in their lives. Another study estimates that around 70% of Americans experience some form of trauma at least once in their lifetime. Yes, it’s that common. But what exactly is trauma?
Trauma can be defined as the body’s natural response to a negative event. The response to this traumatic event is so overwhelming that it becomes hard for you to comprehend, process, or move on from it. Hence, it occurs as an outcome of experiencing a traumatic event. These events include things like physical injuries or a prolonged illness, sexual violation, physical violence, the death of a loved one, or any event that’s quite unusual and devastating. So, any event that has a negative impact on you and your well-being for a prolonged period is most likely some form of trauma.
It is often an experience embedded deep within your subconscious mind, which manifests in the form of certain symptoms. These symptoms include feelings like sadness, nervousness, anger, irritation, rampaging thoughts, extreme flashbacks or nightmares, loss of memory, and avoidance of certain people, thoughts, and emotions. This condition often results in you having a distorted view of the world, which is quite different from reality.
Though the road to recovery is a long one, know that it’s very much possible to overcome it. In fact, there is a lot you can do that can help you put on the road to recovery. The first step which is probably the most difficult step is acknowledging the fact that you are traumatized. Hence, acceptance is the key to overcoming this mental health disorder.
Though there are various ways to deal with this ailment. Here’re 5 powerful ways to overcome it:
1. Talk with Friends – Don’t Isolate Yourself
These emotions can make you feel lonely, fearful, and helpless but know that it’s just the trauma talking. It’s not you and you need to remember that. Though isolating yourself may seem like the most obvious response, it definitely is not an advisable one. In fact, being around people, after experiencing a traumatic event can go a long way in boosting your mental health. So no matter what, refrain from isolating yourself. Find a shoulder to lean on. Confide in your friends and family. It’s better if you can surround yourself with people who truly love and care for you.
Discussing about the traumatic event with your friends and family can help you feel much better. You can talk about what actually happened and how it makes you feel in the moment, with a near and dear one. It will help you vent out all the repressed emotions you have been carrying for so long. Try this and you’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your chest. You can also ask your friends and family to help with your household chores to take some weight off your shoulders. But in case you are staying alone make sure you stay connected with your loved ones through audio and video calls.
2. Find Support Groups to Discuss Your Problems
Support groups can play a pivotal role in helping you cope with psychological and emotional trauma. Dealing with this can be extremely overwhelming and you may feel like you are alone, but know that you are not. There are a lot of people who have dealt with this condition and recovered from it. Listening to their experiences can serve as a great source of motivation for you and help you deal with your traumatic experiences better. Their journey can also provide you with some insights into the various ways in which you can deal with your situation effectively.
As your support group provides you with an open platform to discuss your traumatic experience it can make your journey a lot less lonely. Also, having the help of a support group can speed up the pace of your recovery. If you are wondering where to find one, you can easily find these support groups both online and offline.
3. Resolve to Face Your Issues Head-On
Overcoming this condition requires you to face your issues head-on. This is probably one of the most powerful ways to heal. Though resisting your feelings or emotions may seem like an easy option, know that it will only make matters worse. As tempting as it may seem, using alcohol, smoking, or using substances to numb your pain will only aggravate the problem. Always remember “What you resist, persists.”
So what you need to do is sit with those uncomfortable feelings. You need to feel them in order to heal them. This will help you process and comprehend them better. This can help you release all the repressed emotions and set you on the path of healing. So, make sure you face your fear, shame, guilt, or any uncomfortable feeling you have been experiencing. It may seem quite scary but know that this discomfort you are feeling is only temporary. Know that “You are not your thoughts and emotions. You are just someone experiencing these thoughts and emotions.“
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4. Try a Wellness Routine
Falling off track is quite common when you are experiencing trauma. The effects of this condition can make it very difficult for you to follow your wellness routine. You may feel the urge to skip your morning yoga or meditation session but don’t make that mistake. Stick to your morning routine despite your mind saying otherwise. Make sure you have well-balanced nutritious meals every day. Also, make sure you have a sound sleep every night for at least 8-9 hours.
5. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is non-negotiable when it comes to overcoming your feelings. So what exactly falls under self-care? Well, anything that makes you feel good and improve your mental health can be a part of your self-care routine. It can be a good night’s sleep, a spa or a self-pampering session, or spending time in nature. It can even be activities like singing, dancing, cooking, painting, or any activity that can help you unwind.
You can even incorporate meditation, deep breathing, or yoga into your daily routine to reap the maximum benefits. Various studies clearly show how meditation can be a great tool to heal stress and PTSD. In fact, there are many studies to show that it helps in strengthening the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and reducing the hyperactivity in the amygdala, which controls the fight-flight response in our body. Meditation helps you detach from the shackles of your mind.
When you meditate with your eyes closed you can actually heal this disorder by facing those uncomfortable feelings and emotions. You visualize that event, try to see yourself facing it, and ultimately release it. There are various forms of meditation you can try that can help you confront these uncomfortable feelings and ultimately help you release them. The more you keep practicing it, the more you are going to heal.
Seek Mental Trauma Treatment from a Trusted Psychologist
In most cases, the effects of traumatic events resolve on their own after a certain period of time. Each person is different and they process and cope with this condition differently, so there’s no ideal way and time to deal with it. You have to be patient with yourself. You need to give yourself the time and space required to heal. Knowing when to seek professional help is vital in overcoming this disorder. Here’re two cases when you need to seek professional help:
- If it’s making you so overwhelmed that it has become extremely difficult for you to carry on with your daily activities of life.
- If your feelings have lasted for more than that 3 months and your condition isn’t improving, it’s most likely that you are suffering from PTSD. This is a clear indication that you need to seek the help of a trusted psychologist.
So if you are someone suffering from the effects of a traumatic event and your condition is not getting any better, you should definitely reach out to a psychologist. They can help you find a treatment method that can work effectively for you. Among various techniques like Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR), you need to find the one that works for you. All you need is the help, support, and guidance of a trusted psychologist. You can find various certified psychologists on our book a therapist page at DocVita.