An enormously distressing past event can have long lasting effects which may only become recognizable many years later. The traumatic event can be one time, such as an accident, injury, loss of someone close, or it can be due to an ongoing cause, like illness.
If you are feeling that you are on an emotional roller-coaster, with feelings of depression and anxiety, you may have been traumatized in the past. When an event like this happens, unlike a physical illness, the emotional symptoms may appear much later, without seeming to be related. As well, there is an ebb and flow to the symptoms, without a sense that there is overall healing. That’s why the effects of trauma can be a challenge when one is aiming for emotional stability.
While it is a normal response to have emotional trauma after a life altering event, if a person is unable to process their emotions even after a long time, it may be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One’s natural inclination towards any stressful event would be to ask oneself, “why me”? Some may even go to the extent of blaming themselves for the misfortune or question their existence.
In today’s article we will discuss some coping techniques which could be beneficial in managing this problem. While one of the most helpful techniques is to consult a mental health professional, there are other effective methods, which can be very helpful in situations which are not as serious.
- It is a human tendency to put the blame for past events on ourselves, as if it has been our fault due to some failing in our character or actions. This reasoning, seemingly irrefutable, may torment us for decades. However very often this is not the case. As well, those past situations cannot be altered and thus the more we can let go of the worries of the past, especially as we cannot change them, the healthier it is for us.
- You may be unaware of how fragile and complicated relationships can be. Sometimes others are not able to comprehend the situations and emotions that you are dealing with and thus may not be able to fully understand you. Similarly, when you find a family member of a friend not being his/ her usual self, you should also make it a point to check on them. Appreciate what you have and benefit from the help you provide others.
- It is very vital that you open up about your trauma with those you trust. It can take some time to trust others enough to share the details because of the various emotions involved, but at the end it is worth it. Becoming stronger is best done by connecting with others, sharing the pain. Emotional support is what makes us all stronger.
- You can check if you are showing any signs of depression. We have previously shared some suggestions on how to nurture a “Chronically Ill Patient’s Mental Health”; although you may not have a physical illness, these technics may still be helpful.
- There is another post on some additional activities to do when the day gets tough. These activities don’t require any other investment beyond your time and focus.
- You can also follow the advice on how to build mental resilience. Another surprising way of processing the trauma is to think like an elder.
Dealing with significant trauma all by yourself can become difficult so it is always advisable to seek help, whether personal (though friends or family) or professional. However, there are helpful activities you can undertake on your own, as indicated above, which are additionally helpful. Also keep in mind that although patients with PTSD are often described with significant emotional turmoil, there are individuals who have turned their post-traumatic stress into growth. You can read more about these inspiring stories of resiliency in one of our previous articles,” Post traumatic stress or Growth?”