Overcoming Trauma - Part 1

Experiencing something traumatic impacts us deeply.

Overcoming trauma is about reclaiming your mind, body, and relationships and managing how you feel, think, act, and relate.

If you are suffering from trauma, don't struggle with it alone. You deserve and need social and professional support.

The goals in trauma recovery are to stay safe, manage the symptoms, process the trauma memories, be fully alive in the present, and enjoy fulfilling relationships with other people.

Staying safe

To feel safe, any ongoing trauma must stop. Whenever traumatic events are ongoing, being on alert and feeling unsafe are appropriate responses. If it is possible, if it’s not too risky, do whatever is possible with whatever help is available to stop the traumatizing situation or remove yourself from it.

After a traumatic event, being with loved ones—someone who holds your hand and gives you a hug if and when you want that; a safe place to stay; food; practical help; and time to rest and sleep, may help minimize the impact of the trauma.

Managing the symptoms

Even after a traumatic event has ended, it is not over for someone who has been traumatized. It keeps replaying day and night in the brain and the body.

We recommend seeking help and working with a qualified therapist on how to manage your specific symptoms and challenges.

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide are common among those who have been traumatized, and these symptoms require treatment. Replacing self-destructive survival strategies with healthy strategies for emotional relief and stress reduction is essential.

The goal is to learn how to regulate your nervous system so you can tolerate external and internal stressors and triggers. We seek to expand the “window of tolerance,” the zone where you function well without being triggered into hyper-arousal or hypo-arousal, so that you can be more resilient to stressors and triggers.

For this to happen, the brain's thinking, feeling, and instinct parts and the rest of the body must communicate to sense and register what is going on, interpret, and understand it, so one can figure out what's best to do.

Medication may be beneficial in the recovery process. But medication alone is not sufficient treatment for trauma.

In the next video, we will learn more about how to process trauma memories, how to be fully alive in the present, and the importance of nurturing and fulfilling relationships in trauma recovery.

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