Whether it’s one-time, multiple, or a long-lasting repetitive set of events, trauma affects everyone differently. Some people may display benchmarks linked with PTSD or posttraumatic stress disorder, but there are many more people who will exhibit resilient responses or momentary subclinical symptoms or consequences that might fall outside the usual criteria for PTSD. The impact of trauma could be subtle, underhanded, or just absolutely damaging. Many factors affect a person after a traumatic event. It could affect your personality or character, the type of reaction you have to events, your development process, or some sociocultural influences.
More often than not, a person surviving trauma usually has a complicated mental state. They are affected by their own experiences, coping skills, life skills and that of their relatives, access to natural support and healers, and the immediate responses of the community where they live. Of course, the reaction of other people range in severity; however unusual a reaction for you is, it is still a natural response to manage trauma; it’s not any form of psychopathology.
Coping styles differ from reflective to action-oriented and from quiet to emotionally expressive. Whatever coping style you have does not necessarily speak of how successful you are in really coping and eventually going on with your regular activities, how you regulate your emotion, sustain your self-esteem, and eventually enjoy interpersonal relationships.
In the past, in traumatic stress psychology, especially in group or mass traumas, it was assumed that all people involved needed to express their emotions with regard to the event and talk about it. More recent research says that people involved who do not wish to process their trauma are just as healthy as those who do. During psychological debriefs, it is emphasized to respect everyone’s coping style and not choose one over another.
Immediate reactions to trauma can include:
- Blunted affect
- Physical arousal
Most of these reactions are normal since most people go through them after a traumatic event in their lives. Some indicators of more severe responses can include:
- Never-ending despair
- Severe dissociation symptoms
- Extreme disturbing recollections
And delayed responses to trauma include:
- Averting of emotions
- Anxiety focused on flashbacks
- Fear of recurrence
- Sleep disorders
People process trauma differently. While there are multiple ways to learn to heal your wounds, there are many ordeals that one might go through while in the process.
Three Challenges To Healing From Trauma
Healing from trauma can and definitely will take time. Simply because there is, in fact, something wrong with you —with your brain. You feel powerless. Here are some other challenges that might have affected you once you decide to start healing.
- Being unable to manage distress
Distress manifests in your everyday behavior. You do not need to feel distressed all the time, but it is there. Like children, if you were not taught to manage it, experiencing trauma as an adult will overwhelm you.
- People make you wary
When you experience trauma, you get stuck; you feel so vulnerable. When you should feel safe and secure, you do not —this is because when the trauma you are experiencing is from people, you start doubting others.
- Your brain goes blank
Realistically, you need your brains to start healing, and you can’t do that when it goes blank. You need to build up and support your brain to start making decisions to heal.
Trauma isn’t meant to heal so easily; there’s a process to it. Yes, there are challenges, but its ending is always positive when you finally decide to step into the light of healing.
The Recovery Process
Symptoms from trauma can last a few days to a few months, slowly fading as you process the troubling events in your life. Although you have started to feel better since the occurrence, you might still be reminded of these memories or emotions now and again. A trigger for this to happen could be the anniversary of the event, for example —or seeing the person or people involved.
If your trauma symptoms do not ease up or especially when it gets worse, it would be best to consider seeking professional help as you could be experiencing PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is when your nervous system remains in psychological shock, incapable of making sense of the trauma.
Before seeking professional help, we will be sharing a few tips with you for your trauma recovery process. Since you are going through a grieving process, these tips can help you cope with the pain you are going through, heal from it and eventually move on.
- Get moving.
Since trauma messes up with your internal system, keeping you in a state of fear and hyperarousal —exercise and movement can help your nervous system. Getting yourself moving means moving your mind and body. When taken care of, mental and physical health allows you to do more and be more —for yourself and others, especially during a crisis.
- Don’t isolate.
As a natural response, you might want to withdraw from others, but it only makes things worse. So, if you have decided you want to go through this process, connect with others, and make an effort to remain in the lives of the people you care about.
As a child, your parents taught you to self-regulate so that you won’t need them to manage every emotion you feel. It is crucial that you can calm yourself even when you are by yourself and control your emotions. This will help relieve your anxiety and agitation associated with your trauma and eventually have a greater sense of control over your feelings.
- Take care of your health.
Okay, so taking care of yourself might be a very general thing to do —but it works all the time. It increases your chances to cope better with the stress associated with trauma. Give yourself a chance to rest, get some sleep, avoid consuming too much alcohol or drugs, and eat healthier. When you are healthy in mind and body, chances are greater when coping better with trauma and all its symptoms.
Seek Professional Help
If your trauma symptoms affect your everyday life, you must seek professional help as soon as you can. This is to jump-start your road to getting better. Consider getting help if:
- You don’t have anyone to talk to
- You don’t feel like your feelings have returned to normal in almost two months
- Someone tells you to get help
- Your studies or your work is affected
- You can’t do your regular day to day tasks
- You are using alcohol and drugs to cope
Talk to your family doctor if you have one. They can advise you about treatment and even refer you to a professional who can help you better.
At Restore Treatment Center, our direct focus is on providing alcohol detoxification, drug abuse, and rehab services to you those who need quality and professional support. Call us today at (888) 519-1570 to get the help you need!