With everything that's going on in the world right now (pandemic, politics, police brutality, racism etc..), I felt it was important to talk about psychological and emotional trauma. I recognize that some people who have experienced trauma may not realize how it has affected them and there relationships. In addition, some of the family and friends of people who have experienced trauma may not understand their behavior or know how to support there loved one after a traumatic experience.  Any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma. Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual's ability to cope. It can cause feelings of helplessness, diminish sense of self and the ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. Trauma can be physical or emotional, a one time event, chronic and ongoing. Common examples of traumatic experiences are: child or adult physical, sexual and verbal abuse, a car accident, war, bullying, childhood neglect, living in a crime ridden neighborhood, violent attack or witness to attack, death of a love one, diagnosis of a life threatening or disabling disease, break up/ divorce of a significant relationship, significantly humiliating experience, falls or injuries.

When unfortunate things happen, it can take awhile to get over the pain and feel safe. Responses to a traumatic event will not be the same for everyone, but there are common symptoms such as sadness, denial, anger, fear, shame, nightmares, difficulty with relationships, emotional outbursts, mood swings and irritability. There are also physical symptoms like change in sleep patterns, change in appetite, nausea, dizziness, muscle tension, and difficulty concentrating.  If months go by and symptoms have not improved and it is affecting your ability to function please consult with your doctor or a behavioral health provider. Lack of support can escalate symptoms to panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, drug abuse and not being able to complete tasks. Some psychological disorders associated with trauma are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),  depression, anxiety, dissociative disorders and substance abuse problems.

Tips to help healing from trauma

1. Refrain from isolating yourself- Open lines of communication with family and friends as soon as possible after the traumatic event.

2. Seek professional help- If your symptoms start to interfere with your life, seek help.

3. Exercise- Stretching and walking are a good start, of course you can do more if you are up to it.

4. Try to get back into your routine- Getting back in your routine can help you re-establish a since of normalcy.

5. Meditation and yoga- Focus on your breathing or different parts of your body while meditating. Deep breathing can help you relax.

6. Music-  Create or listen to music

How to help a love one who experienced trauma

1. Please don't take trauma symptoms personally- Your loved one may become moody, irritable angry, withdrawn and distant as I have previously stated. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the trauma.

2. Offer support- Be a listening ear and/or help with watching the kids or grocery shopping to help them get back to normalcy. Do not force them to talk about it if they are not ready. Let them know you are there when they are ready to talk.

3. Be patient and understanding- Healing from trauma takes time. Be patient and don't judge how long it takes for them to heal. The healing process will not be the same for everyone.

4. Help loved ones find a positive outlet- Encourage them to exercise, travel, seek out hobbies and interact with other people they feel comfortable with.

While trauma is challenging to deal with, it can be managed with tips such as those above and others. Again if you are seeking professional help, there are countless resources that are here for you.

"There's Hope With Cope:)"


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