Sometimes, life truly is not fair. Some of us, for reasons beyond our control, are exposed to traumatic events. The injury can be physical or psychological, but the resulting emotional trauma is very real.
This year brought a worldwide pandemic and, with it, a world of pain and anguish to millions around the globe. Systemic racism subjects children to trauma that can have devastating effects later in life.
The first step to healing from emotional trauma is to recognize the harm that has been done. Keep reading to learn more about trauma recovery and how to get your peace of mind back.
A Harsh Reality
No one ever said that life was supposed to be easy. But nothing can really prepare someone for a traumatic experience, such as suffering violence firsthand or being witness to it.
In our society, we are often numb to the lasting effect this can have on people. We love to honor our war veterans, for example, but we often fall short when it comes to taking care of their emotional wounds.
Pandemic of Fear
Late 2019, SARS-CoV-2, a mysterious recently discovered virus, began to affect workers at a live animal market in Wuhan, China. The disease caused by this virus, now known as COVID-19, has reached pandemic proportions.
Facing very real danger, the health authorities across the world have taken drastic measures to prevent the spread.
Death, the fear of disease, the inability to leave the house resulted in emotional trauma for many across the world.
Racism and Trauma
In the last few weeks, protests over systemic racism and police brutality towards African Americans have occurred in all 50 states.
Racism often takes the form of physical violence and murder. However, it is crucial to consider the impact on the psyche of children and adults.
Furthermore, constant coverage of protests, riots, and other disturbances in the news adds to the mounting anxiety and fear.
The Bleeding Wound of Mass Incarceration
Another problem is mass incarceration. The United States houses 25% of the world's prisoners, yet represents only 5% of the world's total population.
The prison system subjects people to subhuman conditions designed to break the prisoners mentally.
Not only must convicts learn how to process trauma themselves, but they are also leaving family behind. At least, 7% of children in the United States have had a parent in jail at some point.
Coping with Emotional Trauma
Pent up stress from emotional trauma can lead to crippling anxiety, depression, and other issues. Despite the obvious obstacles we face as a community, we always have a choice.
We believe that we have to choose to be happy. We have to choose to be healthy.
This is much easier said than done and it doesn't happen overnight.
How To Recover From Trauma
You can learn how to overcome trauma. Even when it feels like the world is crumbling around you, there are tools you can apply.
Before letting your trauma define you for another second, please consider reading this list.
Learn from people who have struggled before you. No matter what you did or what happened to you, it is never too late to heal and make things right.
Validate Your Feelings
Processing and understanding your emotions is a learned skill. It isn't something that we are born knowing how to do. However, it is a skill that can be taught and practiced.
The first thing you should do is validate your feelings. That means recognizing that you experienced trauma and that it hurts.
No one is invincible. Getting hurt and feeling sad doesn't make you weak or oversensitive. In fact, reliving trauma and overcoming it takes a great amount of strength.
Talk to Someone
You don't have to do it alone. You may feel like you have no friends or family and that no one is listening.
But there are options. You have to take a chance and tell people how you feel. Talking to a therapist or another mental health professional is ideal. EMDR is an integrative therapy that been shown to help people with trauma.
Go To Therapy
Again, pent up anxiety can lead to serious health effects, but physical and psychological. Speaking about it to anyone can feel good, but therapists are trained to handle these types of situations using proven techniques.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used types of therapy. All you have to do is sit comfortably and have a conversation. The therapist will try to guide the conversation but there are no set rules.
Your therapist will help you consider strategies to change certain patterns of thinking that are harming you. They help you help you.
"Give It Time"
We're not going to be cliche and tell you that everything gets better with time. In fact, this is one of many cliches you are likely to hear from people around you.
The fact of the matter is that no one can tell you how long it will take. They don't know what you are feeling.
Losing a loved one, for example, will never feel OK with time. But we must choose to learn to accept our loss and live.
Trauma Recovery and Children
Children can be particularly susceptible to emotional trauma. This can often be the result of child abuse and/ or neglect.
The vast majority of cases of child abuse are perpetrated by the parents or someone close to the victim.
However, children can also be subject to physical and emotional harm elsewhere. Children who experience racism are more likely to feel anxiety and depression.
A Helping Hand
Are you or loved one suffering from emotional trauma? With all that is going on today, there is a good chance that someone around you is having a hard time coping.
If this sounds like you, know that you aren't alone. There is help for people in your situation.
Contact the folks at this website for help in your road to trauma recovery.