Car accidents, plane crashes, life-threatening natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, terrible things like rape and kidnapping… All of these things have something in common: they can turn into long-lasting, crippling traumas for the people who go through them. But how can we resume life after trauma?
The pain caused by every situation depends on a person’s personality and circumstances. For some, certain cases can be very big shocks, while for others, the same case is not a big deal and is quickly forgotten. What can we do to prevent trauma from paralyzing us? How can we ensure we move forward?
Can traumatic experiences change our character?
After trauma, significant changes in a person’s character and life often occur. The effects may be visible for many years after the incident. On the other hand, adapting to them requires a lot of effort. Such a person must also re-adapt to those abilities and resources. All this means that there will also be challenges in the future.
Sometimes these changes make a person more convincing or give better self-control. But in other cases, they only make a person feel insecure and vulnerable, making life more difficult after trauma more difficult. In addition, trauma can trigger useless and truly harmful means of survival.
Gender-based violence usually affects the nature of the victim. Women, transgender people and other victims of gender-based violence tend to be exposed to potential traumatic situations. It can be traumatic when their partner yells at them or beats, harasses and humiliates them. They only achieve peace when their partner leaves the house.
The assault will no doubt leave a mark on their personality. In addition to physical injuries, mental attacks can cause the perpetrator to take power from their victim. Victims may begin to question their own decisions.
Let’s take another example. Passengers who survived a plane crash have to face a new kind of life. They must accept the loss of loved ones or the trauma of dealing with serious, chronic injuries.
They will most likely develop new fears months or years after the trauma (fear of flying, claustrophobia, or social anxiety). Or they may develop obsessive-compulsive disorder. As you can see, life after a trauma can be confusing.
We reduce the impact of traumatic experiences when we release them
Before the age of six, traumatic experiences are almost permanent if not treated properly. Why? Because they are corrected in the unconscious mind and subconscious. That’s why it’s so important to know what you should and shouldn’t do in extreme situations like this.
In emergencies or disasters, you should not sleep for the first six hours after a crisis. Dreams play an important role in stabilizing memories, so it is better to stay awake or busy to avoid remembering shocking or traumatic images.
Although people who have experienced trauma want to lie down or rest, we should not let them fall asleep during the first six hours. It is also not a good idea to use sleeping pills, just let them fall asleep naturally.
Helping yourself after a trauma
As we have said, all people react to traumatic events in different ways. Thus, it is important that experts understand the many symptoms associated with them. They are all equally acceptable and every person should be treated as an individual and confidentially.
In order to continue living after a trauma, we recommend that you first get back into your daily routine, not change habits overnight. Don’t run away from places or people that remind you of trauma. Instead, talk to a professional about how these things bother you.
The first step is to recognize that you can’t control everything that happens around you. But you should also try not to be exposed to the most stressful moments or events and try to alleviate the feeling of nausea by participating in leisure activities, resting, and resolving conflicts calmly.
Talking about emotions is a very important part of the process
Last but by no means least, you should rely on people close to you. It is always good to express emotions, identify what is causing the pain, make it verbal and name it by first and last name.
Think about how it is easier to encounter something when you know what that something is. It’s even easier when others also know what that is. So we should look not only at the emotions or the things that cause them separately, but also at the threat that connects both things.
It may seem too easy. But just by telling others, we can find part of the sense of security we have lost. Especially when others accept and understand the logic behind it.
We get relief when telling or writing down a secret. Both habits are tools for self-awareness and self-therapy and have positive effects for overcoming the situation and continuing life after trauma. In fact, failure to integrate traumatic, negative, or disruptive events can trigger very serious dissociation problems into personal narrative.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
After a traumatic event, a person can feel defined by it. He feels like it would pollute everything, inside and out. Then, if the problems worsen, it can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. It experiences a lot of acute stress and its effects can last for years, even a lifetime.
It is common for people to relive trauma in the form of flashbacks. It is also common to experience sleep problems or feel numb. The chronic evolution of these symptoms depends on the severity or severity of the event. Also, don’t forget that stress can build up. In other words, any stressful post-traumatic events can create anxiety.
No one is safe from traumatic, unexpected situations. In all cases, you should always seek professional help. It will not only help you move forward, but will also give you the tools you need to continue living again after the trauma.