Humans are highly-intelligent beings capable of adapting to different environments while simultaneously being able to cope with deep emotional stress when exposed to varying degrees of psychological pressure. Despite that, however, there are still instances when certain events seem to inflict a lasting effect on a person’s psychological state. Before you even realize it, the person is slowly slipping through the cracks—clueless and traumatized.
A trauma can have different trigger points that can send the person back to that traumatizing event. It can even reach the point of having the power to interrupt a person’s daily activities. However, every individual has the right to have the power to take control of his or her life, therefore, we are giving you some key tips on how you can help someone overcome a traumatic experience:
- Educate yourself about trauma
The better you know about mental health and dealing with psychological issues, the better it is for you to lend a helping hand to a friend who currently suffers from a traumatizing experience. Whether it is a death of a loved one, a near-death experience, a case of sexual assault, or verbal trauma—a person can recover better from the issue with a friend by their side to guide them back to total recovery.
- Encourage them to keep a journal
Oftentimes, a person experiencing a psychological trauma will be haunted by a thousand fleeting thoughts replaying in their mind over and over again. When left alone without any form of self-therapy, this occurrence can often lead to a series of panic attacks and nervous breakdowns. One way to cope with this emotional rollercoaster is by keeping a journal.
Yes, it’s a very old-school way of overcoming your emotional hurdles but there is a great reason just why it is recommended by a lot of psychologists. To break it down for you, here are the benefits of keeping a journal:
- Dealing with emotions one at a time – writing down one’s own thoughts can help eliminate the surge of emotions that tend to overwhelm a person. By keeping a journal and writing down one’s own thoughts, feelings, and progress it can help the victim avoid that wave of emotions. Instead, a journal can lead to a small stream of these thoughts, making it much easier to enumerate them, contemplate on them, and find certain actions to resolve them.
- A better way of knowing oneself – by routinely writing down in a journal, it is much easier for the person to find out what triggers the trauma and what makes them sad. It will also let them know what can ultimately make them happy and aid recovery. In this way, finding a resolution to switch one’s own emotions will become easier with the existence of the journal as a reference
- Relieving stress – writing about one’s own recent thoughts such as anger, frustration, sadness, and fear has been proven to be a great form of stress reliever among people who suffer from trauma. Transferring those negative thoughts into written words becomes an act of finding a productive outlet.
- Don’t pressure them
One of the worst things that you can do for someone who suffers from a traumatizing experience is by forcing them to open up. Instead of begging them to talk to you, the best thing that you can really do is to let it come naturally by spending time with them “normally” rather than forcing them into a sit-down talk with you in which they feel the pressure of being forced to discuss their feelings. By spending “normal” days with them, it means being there for them to give comfort and companionship through activities such as:
- Going to the gym together
- Brunch dates
- Getting coffee together
- Shopping for clothes or books
- Watching a movie
- Pursuing hobbies
- Consider getting professional help
There may be some cases where you can’t adequately provide the help that is needed. While your love and support is essential in order for your loved one to overcome a traumatic experience, don’t be afraid to encourage them to sign up for therapy from a professional, particularly if you begin to notice that these signs:
- They start to have nightmares and experience sleeplessness because of recurring traumatic thoughts
- They feel isolated or starts isolating themselves from friends and family
- They start to abandon their responsibilities
- They abuse substances and alcohol to cope with the trauma
- They suffer from panic attacks more and more
- They start underperforming in work or school
Helping a friend overcome his or her trauma will need a lot of help from different resources, and this may mean needing the help of a professional from TG Psychology to make sure they will get back to their old selves—as they were before being haunted by these traumatic experiences.