When people do experience a distressing or life-threatening event, such as a car accident, natural disaster, or terrorist attack, they often develop extreme anxiety or PTSD. Many develop ongoing problems with their personal relationships and their own self-esteem.
Everyone deals with trauma in their own way. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to respond to a tragic or terrifying event. Don’t let anyone, not even yourself, tell you that you should respond in a certain way.
Having said that, there are steps you can take to begin to heal and regain control of your life.
Accept Your Feelings
Ignoring your feelings of fear, shock, rage, terror, confusion, or guilt will only slow your recovery. In the moment, you may feel you must avoid your emotions. But, whether you accept or push them away, your feelings are real, and feeling them is necessary for healing. The good news is, even intense feelings will pass if you simply allow yourself to feel them.
Reframe Your Identity
After experiencing a traumatic event, it is common to feel helpless and out of control. To fully recover from the event, it is important that you eventually reframe your identity and challenge your feelings of helplessness. You can do this by taking action. Being proactive – even in small ways – will help you overcome feelings of fear and helplessness.
Consider volunteering for a cause that’s important to you. If that is too much of a time commitment, you could simply focus on helping a friend or neighbor. This will help you feel more powerful and in control of your environment.
Reach Out to Others
It is common for people to want to withdraw from loved ones and social activities following a tragic event, but connecting with others is necessary for recovery. Though you may not feel up to taking part in huge gatherings like you once did, a simple face to face conversation with a close friend or relative can trigger hormones that relieve stress.
You needn’t talk about the event with your loved ones, just simply spending time with them will help you feel more “normal.” Of course, if you feel like you need to talk about your feelings, reach out to those you know love and support you. You may also want to look into support groups in your local area so you can be around others who know what you are going through.
And finally, you may want to consider seeking guidance from a professional therapist who is trained in helping people who have experienced a traumatic event. They can help you navigate your emotions as well as give you tools to get back on your feet.
Thinking of Seeking Treatment?
If you’re ready to seek treatment, we believe it’s important to find a therapist who fits your needs. We offer a free consultation so you can find out if we’re a good fit for you or your child. Call or text us at 801-855-7999 to schedule a consultation. Or you may find it easier to use our online scheduling tool anytime, day or night, to find a time when you can talk with one of our therapists about your needs. Select New Client. Next, under Service, select either “Free Phone Consultation” (for a phone consultation) or “Free In-Office Consultation” (to come into our office in Clinton in person) and you’ll see a variety of times available. It’s quick and easy, and there’s no obligation.
If you’re not ready to seek treatment now, we invite you to stay in touch as you continue learning about good mental health:
- Sign up for our free wellness newsletter. We share information about mental health, brain health and parenting. Plus, we’ll remind you about upcoming events. We usually send out our newsletter twice a month.
- Attend of one of our free community workshops. We hold workshops to help parents plus workshops to support teens at the same time.
- Learn more our founders and our team of therapists.
- Follow us on Facebook. We share some really cool stuff! Yes, we are active on Facebook and you can even contact us through Facebook Messenger!
- Follow us on Pinterest for tons of resources about mental health, your brain and parenting.
We understand that seeking therapy is a big decision and it can be intimidating, but we’re here to make it less scary and, ultimately, incredibly rewarding. We’re here when you’re ready to talk.
Your friends at NeuroTherapy and Trauma Center of Utah