Are You Recovering from Trauma?
By Space Coast Daily // October 13, 2019
A traumatic event in a person’s life can be one of the most difficult experiences to cope with and overcome, and these experiences can take many forms.
A traumatic event could be suffering an injury or unintentionally causing injury to another, a near-death experience, threatening behavior from another, physical and/or sexual assault, car accidents, mental abuse, to name just a few.
After a trauma, it is natural to feel anxious and overwhelmed in the following days or weeks, but for some people, the symptoms are more long term.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a long-lasting physical and emotional response following a traumatic event that usually develops within six months of the event taking place.
Potential Signs of Trauma
People who have PTSD may experience negative images, feelings, and thoughts related to the event for weeks, months or even years afterward.
Without the proper support, PTSD can destroy a person’s long-term quality of life, but a significant number of people do not realize that they are suffering from PTSD and so do not seek help.
Here are some of the most common signs that a person may be struggling with PTSD:
- Avoidance of places or situations which they associate with the event
- Sensitivity to sudden movements or loud noises
- Irrational anxiety and a fear relating to the event happening again or of harm coming to them or their loved ones
- Flashbacks to the event which appear in unrelated situations
- Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy including a loss of appetite, sexual libido or general hobbies
- Physical anxiety response such as sweating, trembling, nausea, fatigue, headaches, and muscle tension
- Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and others associated with depression
- Trouble sleeping, including nightmares
- Difficulty with concentration and memory loss
- Anger, guilt, and insecurity related to the event
How to Cope After Trauma
- If the trauma is still happening, for example, you are suffering abuse in your home or workplace, get yourself to safety and seek help from the police or a relevant organization
- Talk about your experience with someone trustworthy and/or a mental health professional. Stay close to family members or close friends and avoid isolating yourself.
- If the traumatic event caused you to be injured, and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation which may aid in your recovery and cover lost wages. For example, compensation for accidents at work, car accidents or even compensation for a delayed ambulance if the delay resulted in more severe and permanent injury.
- Remember that it is absolutely natural to need time and the right support in order to recover from trauma. You are not weak, and with the right help, these feelings will go away.
- Make an effort to plan enjoyable experiences and take part in activities which make you happy whether that’s going for a walk, visiting new places, playing sports or catching up with friends.
- Avoid turning to drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms as while they may appear to provide relief, this is only temporary, and often your symptoms will return with more severity once the effects of the substance wear off.
- Over time, you should try to challenge yourself to confront the trauma, and this may involve activities that are associated with the event such as driving a car or returning to work. Approach this gradually by taking small steps such as reversing in the drive, then going around the block and gradually extending your journeys.
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