Dealing with Trauma

Dealing with Trauma

Dealing with Trauma

Trauma occurs when a person suffers severe psychological and emotional distress in response to a life-threatening or extremely traumatic event such as a car crash, a natural disaster, or physical assault. The trauma can cause both short- and long-term effects. Professional help includes teaching ways to cope and to diminish the trauma’s effects.

Warning Signs:

There are many different responses to potentially traumatic events. Most people have intense responses immediately following, and often for several weeks or even months after, a traumatic event.

  • Feeling anxious, sad, or angry
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Continually thinking about what happened that caused the trauma

For most people, these are normal and expected responses and generally lessen with time. Healthy ways of coping in this time period include avoiding alcohol and other drugs, spending time with loved ones and trusted friends who are supportive, trying to maintain normal routines for meals, exercise, and sleep. In general, staying active is a good way to cope with stressful feelings.

However, in some cases, the stressful thoughts and feelings after a trauma continue for a long time and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to feel the effects of the trauma, it is important to seek professional help.

Some signs that an individual may need help include:

  • Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad, or fearful
  • Crying often
  • Having trouble thinking clearly
  • Having frightening thoughts, reliving the experience
  • Feeling angry
  • Having nightmares, difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories

Physical responses to trauma may also mean that an individual needs help. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain and digestive issues
  • Feeling tired
  • Racing heart and sweating
  • Being very jumpy and easily startled

Those who already had mental health problems or who have had traumatic experiences in the past, who are faced with ongoing stress, or who lack support from friends and family may be more likely to develop stronger symptoms and need additional help. Some people turn to alcohol or other drugs to cope with their symptoms. Although substance use can temporarily cover up symptoms, it can also make life more difficult.

Treatment:

Mental health professionals use talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication to help those cope with the aftereffects of trauma.

Click the links to the following pages for treatment details on:

 

Warning Signs of Bullying:

There are many different responses to potentially traumatic events. Most people have intense responses immediately following, and often for several weeks or even months after, a traumatic event.

  • Feeling anxious, sad, or angry
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Continually thinking about what happened that caused the trauma

For most people, these are normal and expected responses and generally lessen with time. Healthy ways of coping in this time period include avoiding alcohol and other drugs, spending time with loved ones and trusted friends who are supportive, trying to maintain normal routines for meals, exercise, and sleep. In general, staying active is a good way to cope with stressful feelings.

However, in some cases, the stressful thoughts and feelings after a trauma continue for a long time and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to feel the effects of the trauma, it is important to seek professional help.

Some signs that an individual may need help include:

  • Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad, or fearful
  • Crying often
  • Having trouble thinking clearly
  • Having frightening thoughts, reliving the experience
  • Feeling angry
  • Having nightmares, difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories
 

Physical responses to trauma may also mean that an individual needs help. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain and digestive issues
  • Feeling tired
  • Racing heart and sweating
  • Being very jumpy and easily startled

Those who already had mental health problems or who have had traumatic experiences in the past, who are faced with ongoing stress, or who lack support from friends and family may be more likely to develop stronger symptoms and need additional help. Some people turn to alcohol or other drugs to cope with their symptoms. Although substance use can temporarily cover up symptoms, it can also make life more difficult.

 

Treatment:

Mental health professionals use talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication to help those cope with the aftereffects of trauma.

Click the links to the following pages for treatment details on:

Source nimh.nih.gov