Overcoming Trauma

There are many thoughts and feelings associated with a traumatic experience. Trauma occurs when we are faced with any terrible situation, such as a car accident, fire, witness to an accident, natural disaster, an attack on your person, war, e.t.c. Many people who are recovering from a traumatic experience mentally block out the experience that caused distress while others will relive it time and time again.

Trauma can bring many feelings such as:

  • Shock – shock is a normal reaction to any traumatic experience and the closer you were to the experience the more shock sets in. Your brain has to process the terrible images you have seen and this is when the feelings of shock set in and will take time to digest.
  • Disbelief – many people experiencing a shocking situation have strong belief that what they have witnessed cannot possibly have happened.
  • Denial – many people deny that the event happened; they try to force it out of their mind.
  • Emotional pain – even if you haven’t been hurt in the incident you will feel the pain of those around you who did.
  • Anger – after shock, anger will set in, you will ask yourself “why has this happened to you” and you can feel anger towards anyone and everyone.
  • Blame – we very often blame ourselves or others for what has happened, we may even blame God for letting this happen.
  • Sadness – when overcoming a particular traumatic experience you will feel waves of sadness suddenly overwhelming you.
  • Depression – for some time after the experience you may suddenly lapse into depression from time to time.
  • Anxiety – anxiety often develops from fear and can continue for some time after the experience.

All of the above are the most common feelings and thoughts associated with having gone through trauma; these feelings can come in no particular order and at any time. What you should realize is that these feelings are only natural and are your body and minds way of coping with what happened, the feelings and thoughts will eventually dissipate with time. There are many ways you can cope with them and help yourself to overcome them, the best way for you of course will depend on the severity of the trauma you were exposed to. There are however a number of coping skills which can be learnt in order to help you overcome trauma.

  • Taking about what happened and letting it all out
  • Listening to and accepting advice from family, friends or counselor
  • Accepting what happened and continuing on with life
  • Changing your environment
  • Taking part in recreational activities
  • Picking up your old daily routine
  • Taking part in seminars