A Trauma is described as a body or mind altering injury. It can be physical which may or may not entail some emotional or psychological component or entirely psychological. At Jaramuza we are concerned with the emotional and psychological consequences of trauma.
A sudden illness, an accident or something extremely stressful or life threatening – these are all traumatic experiences which can upset and distress us. They arouse powerful and disturbing feelings in us, which usually settle in time without any outside help. But if the trauma is particularly powerful our coping system may not be capable of restoring us to our normal equilibrium and we can be left with scars which make our passage through life more difficult if not impossible.
The Trauma Process
Shock – you feel stunned or dazed or numb, cut off from your feelings, or from what is going on around you.
Feelings return – the truth sinks in as shock fades and upsetting thoughts and feelings take over.
Constructive Action – you need to take some control back and do whatever you can to get on with your life.
Reintegration – you begin to accept the experience and understand how it fits into the Big picture.
However people react differently and take different amounts of time to come to terms with what has happened.
Emotions may range from:-
to relief and hope.
Physical health will almost certainly be affected, such as
dreams and nightmares
difficulty thinking clearly
changes in appetite
changes in sex-drive or libido
aches and pains
heart beating faster
What should I do?
Give yourself time
Find out what happened
Be involved with other survivors
Ask for support
Take some time for yourself
Talk it over
Get into a routine
Do some “normal” things with other people.
Take care of yourself
What should I NOT do?
Don’t bottle up your feelings
Don’t take on too much
Don’t drink or use drugs
Don’t make any major life changes
The majority of people who suffer a major trauma get through it without needing any professional help but for some it threatens to halt their lives. As a general rule if you are not through the process in 18 months it may well be worth seeking professional help.