Most of us experience trauma at some point in our lives. The question is what to do about it. Not all trauma is the same. Some of it is the natural process of life. As you know by now, life is complicated and messy. Even if you do everything right, bad things are going to happen. There is no way to protect yourself from that. It is just a matter of properly gauging the physical, emotional, and psychological damage left behind by the event.
We also have to be aware of the trauma experienced by the people in our care. If you have children, you should be aware that suicide is the second leading cause of death among children and young adults. It is a problem that should never be taken lightly. Often, parents forget that their children can be even more susceptible to the effects of trauma because of their undeveloped mental and emotional systems. At least adults have some sort of framework for thinking about traumatic incidents whereas children have no such experience from which to learn. For a teen, the loss of a significant relationship is oversized because it is a significantly bigger percentage of their existence. That is why when measuring the effects of trauma in your life, you need to take into account the effects it might be having on your children. Sometimes, big changes like the following are necessary:
Sometimes, the trauma is location-based. In the event of a devastating fire, repair might not be an option. The California fire season of 2020 overshadowed the pandemic for many families. Residents of such places as Santa Ana needed all the relocation help they could get.
Whether it is due to a disaster or a positive event, finding the right house can be challenging. Even if you employ the services of a real estate agent, knowing what is available in your area can make all the difference. It doesn’t have to be an issue directly tied to your home, job loss or a change in relationship status that might necessitate a drastic change in your living situation. When a marriage ends, someone has to move out. Both parties might decide that living in the same house is intolerable. In cases of extreme trauma, moving house might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Getting the most out of your therapy sessions requires you to treat your therapy as a long-term solution rather than a quick fix. Trauma often happens instantly. But healing takes time. So when you take the necessary step of seeing a therapist, be prepared for your sessions to last for years. If you are very lucky, it won’t last that long. But in some cases, therapy is a lifelong necessity. Settle in.
Money and time must be carefully budgeted for proper therapy. Some physical trauma can take years to work through. After traumatic accidents, recovery will require seeing doctors and physical therapists for a very long time before life can return to some semblance of normalcy. Your emotional trauma is no different. You can’t just expect major therapy for major trauma to be a one-and-done affair. Thinking of it that way will doom any chance you have of receiving a full recovery. When it comes to trauma therapy, think long-term.
In addition, traumatic events may lead to issues that require more than therapy, whether it’s a digital addiction, a dependence on painkillers, or something in between. Recovery doesn’t have to have a stigma to it. In fact, if you look for a personal service like the ones offered on NextLevelRecoveryAssociates.com to help you heal, the recovery process can feel more like a lifestyle choice than a mental health condition.
Reduce the noise
After a traumatic event, everyone in your life and on social media is overflowing with mostly useless advice. This well-meaning attention often causes more harm than good. One of the big changes you need to be prepared to make is reducing your social contacts to your true inner circle. The 1,200 people in your timeline might need to be reduced to 12 for a while. Listen to only a handful of experts so that competing voices don’t collide and create more stress. For highly social and connected people, this will be harder than moving house. But it can be just for the time and season it takes for you to fully heal.
A traumatic event does not have to be the end of the world. Take it seriously and be prepared to move house, get long-term therapy, and shrink your social graph to the people who are truly the most trusted in your life.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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