How to handle trauma and traumatic experiences?

Trauma is the emotional response to terrible events, terrible events like injury, loss, disaster, or physical influence. Its common symptoms include:

  • Shock and denial
  • Unpredictable emotions
  • Flashbacks
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

There are different types of traumas, some of which include mental, physical, and psychological. Mental trauma is purely based on the mental and emotional aspects of the person, directly affecting the mental health of someone, however, physical trauma is more tilted toward physical incidents, such as a bruise, deep cuts, or broken bones. Psychological trauma generally stems from an experience that causes a person to believe at that moment that they, or someone else, is about to die.

A strong emotional response in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event is expected. Many people will experience what you call an “acute stress response”, which includes people becoming unaware of their surroundings, and acting out of character inappropriately. The fight or flight response will suppress the brain’s ability to think and function normally for a brief period of time as a means of coping with a crisis.

This acute response can cause:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble relaxing
  • Struggling to fall or stay asleep
  • Intense emotions, like anger, anxiety, sadness, or shame
  • Emotional numbness
  • Feeling detached or estranged from others

Although trauma can be very hard to deal with most of the time, there are effective ways to cope with and treat the stressful effects of trauma. Here are some of the ways how to deal with traumatic outbreaks.

  • Leaning on your loved ones

Identifying your family and friends for support is always a good way to handle trauma. Lean onto them and open up to them about it whenever you are ready. Talk to them, express your feelings to them about your experiences. By doing this, the weight of feeling all alone comes to rest because you get to know that there are people that you can rely on.

  • Facing your feelings

It is okay to avoid thinking about something that affected your mental health gravely. Sleeping excessively, not leaving the house, isolation, and substance abuse are common ways most people avoid trauma; however, it is not healthy. Gradually, try to come to ease, support from your loved ones always or from a professional always helps a lot as you get back to normal once you know people are here for you.

  • Prioritizing self-care

Eat healthy, exercise regularly and a good night’s sleep always help. Seeking out other healthy coping strategies such as art, music, meditation, relaxation, and spending time in nature is a good way to cope with traumatic stress.

  • Patience

It is normal to have strong reactions toward a distressing event. Taking things one day at a time as you recover is always a good way to cope with your traumatic experiences. As day passes, your symptoms start to gradually improve, all it needs is a little bit of patience.