Anyone, anywhere young or old, can suffer from trauma. The emotional toll of things like accidents, surgical injuries, assaults and even terrorist attacks can totally debilitate a person and take a lifetime for them to get over, especially if they do not get the help they need to recover as soon after the traumatic incident as possible.
So, What Exactly is Traumatic Stress?
Traumatic stress is a common reaction to a traumatic event like a car crash, terrorist attack or hurricane. Incidents of this nature but the victims under immense stress, which can cause a whole host of symptoms, including shock, fear, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, anger and complete mental breakdown. That’s why it’s so important that victims of traumatic events, and witnesses to them, are helped through the aftermath.
If you believe you, or someone you are close to, is suffering from traumatic stress, here are some things you can do to aid recovery and get life back on track:
Limit Exposure to the Media
If you were involved in an incident that has led to widespread media coverage, it’s probably a good idea to switch off the TV, avoid the internet and even steer clear from social media for a while. It only takes one clip of the incident to start you panicking again, and that’s the last thing you need when you’re already suffering from the effects of trauma. Sit back and relax with a good book or spend time with good friends for a while instead of watching and reliving the traumatic event over and over again.
Accept the Way You Are Feeling
Trauma can cause all kinds of emotions that can take you by surprise. You might be very angry with the surgeon who messed up your operation to you could feel guilty because you survived an accident with your life while others lost theirs. You need to process and accept these emotions before you can ever hope to come to terms with them. So, feel whatever it is you need to feel and start to deal with those difficult emotions slowly at your own pace and only so far as you are comfortable to do so. If you try to force recovery, you will only make things worse.
See a Counselor
Seeing a professional to help you through your trauma will almost always be recommended. I know that for a lot of people, talking to a complete stranger about their innermost feelings isn’t exactly something that appeals, but it can really help, and with the help of a good lawyer legal representative from Medler Law Firm, you might be able to get the cost of your psychiatry bills paid for by the person(s) responsible for your current condition, depending on what happened to you and how it happened.
Good counselors will take things at your place and only ask you to share things you’re comfortable with, so you don’t have to worry about being pushed too far and making things worse if you do seek help.
Do Something Positive
When you’ve been through a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel helpless about your situation and the events that took place. If you want to overcome this feeling and start to heal from your trauma, one of the best things you can do is take some positive action. Raise money for other victims, set up a charity, visit with other people who have been through traumatic experiences and you will feel more powerful and more in control of your life, which is definitely a positive when you’re trying to heal from trauma.
It’s probably one of the last things you want to do when you’re suffering from severe trauma, but exercising is great for boosting mental health. Even a brisk walk around the block will get the endorphins pumping, boost your mood and stop you from ruminating on the causes of your trauma. Apart from walking, yoga, running, basketball and dance are all good options for moving more when you’re suffering from traumatic stress.
Spend Time with Others
You might feel like isolating yourself following a traumatic event. In fact, you might want to hide away from the wider world completely, but to do so would be to give up on your recovery and sink further into your negative frame of mind. What you should do instead is get out there, spend some time laughing with friends and family, playing with children and petting dogs in the local park. Let yourself experience all of the wonderful things life has to offer, and you’ll feel a lot less stressed and more positive about life than you did before.
Take Steps to Reduce Stress
Reducing your stress levels should be a priority as you recover from trauma. Although a little bit of stress can be good for the average person, the amount of stress you will be under when you’ve had a traumatic experience will be off the scale. Good ways to relieve stress include listening to soothing music, taking a long hot bath and learning how to meditate, but you might have your own stress-busting go-to’s and they will be fine too.
Establish a Routine
Having a stable routine in place helps a lot of trauma victims to get back a sense of normality. Knowing what they will be doing from day to day, hour to hour and even minute to minute can be extremely comforting, so it is definitely worth a try. Just make sure that your routine includes a mix of essentials like work and chores and extravagances like meals with friends, trips to the cinema and time to work on hobbies.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The food you eat has a direct impact on your mood. If you eat healthy, nutritious foods including fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, you will feel much better than if you eat lots of sugar, chips and bad fats. So, eat a healthy diet if you want to get back on an even keel. You might have to go through a period of trial and error to see which foods make you feel good and which send you on a downward spiral, but it’ll be worth it.