Thanks to modern technology and a general commitment to safety, traumatic experiences are becoming rarer. But that doesn’t rule them out entirely. Many people still experience traumatic events and can go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder – a condition where the mind tries to process what happened but can’t.
When it comes to wellness, overcoming trauma is essential. Living with a condition like PTSD can make everyday living a challenge.
In this post, we take a look at the stages of trauma recovery you can expect if you’ve been through an extreme experience.
Safety And Recuperation
After a traumatic experience, the first stage is safety and recuperation.
The priority is to ensure that you get out of immediate danger. But after that, the task for therapists and other professionals to help you regain a sense of safety in your own body. Many people who’ve experienced chronic abuse can often find it impossible to achieve a sense of safety, even when the risk of physical harm is minimal.
Therapists approach safety and recuperation from several angles. The first is to use traditional cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to help retrain the mind not to see danger around every corner. However, these days, therapists are also experimenting with more holistic methods, such as yoga practice and chi gong.
What’s amazing about these practices is how they chime with conventional therapies. Combining the two seems to have more positive effects than any of them by themselves.
The next step is to look for ways to make restitution. Many traumatic events, for instance, involve somebody else doing something to you.
Car accident victims, for instance, will often hire tough and reliable car accident attorneys. The reasons for doing this are both practical and emotional. On the practical side, restitution allows victims to recoup some of the financial costs of the accident. For instance, they may need to pay for additional healthcare. But on the emotional level, it helps to even everything back up. The person who caused your injury should pay.
With practical matters out of the way, the next step is mindfulness. Many people who go through traumatic experiences can find it hard to adjust back to normal ways of thinking. They see danger around every corner and look desperately for ways to mitigate these.
Mindfulness, however, is a conscious approach to seeing the world more rationally. It involves being aware of your thoughts and then allowing them to come and go without judging them. Importantly, it is about taking control of the mind so that you control it and it does not control you.
The last stage of dealing with trauma is to have a little compassion for yourself. Many victims of abuse can continue to harm themselves by believing that they are the problem. They wind up blaming themselves for the experiences that they went through.
Compassion is about having a kinder relationship with yourself. It means allowing the voice in your head that says that the trauma is your fault to pass.