- Surviving a sexual assault
- Witnessing a hurricane
- Being a victim of domestic violence
- Watching a murder, being screamed at
- Being called names
- Surviving a fire
- Experiencing a life-threatening freak accident
These are just a few examples of traumatic events that can shape our present and impact our future. When not treated, trauma can result in depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicidal ideations. We often suppress the memories and emotions associated with the traumatic event, hoping we can move on and forget about the experience. However, over time, internal feelings associated with anger, self-doubt, fear, guilt, and worthlessness begin to bubble to the surface. We are seconds away from exploding, allowing our emotions to impact our thoughts and actions. Our body, which was once our sanctuary and our home, is no longer a safe place but a haunted house full of hurtful memories and flashbacks associated with the traumatic event.
How are we supposed to forget what happened?
How are we supposed to move one?
How are we supposed to find strength?
How are we supposed to be grateful?
We are not.
Seek professional help
Find a therapist who you resonate with and who will listen to you. Studies have shown that the sooner one seeks professional help, the sooner they will be able to find peace and healing. It can be challenging to find a therapist you connect with, who guides you in the right direction, and who will motivate you. As a result, you may visit a handful of therapists before you find the right fit. It is essential to be patient and not to get discouraged throughout this process.
Share your story, unlock your secrets, and take pack your power. Some people choose to volunteer or advocate for change in areas related to their trauma. For example, a rape victim may volunteer in a Rape Crisis organization. Some will volunteer at speaking events or be guests on a podcast as ways to share their experience. Others write about their experience or express their feelings through creative arts. These activities open people to new networks or enhance their skills to make them feel stronger, whole, and more connected.
Because of what you went through, you are at risk…
Traumatic events can put individuals at risk of developing low self-esteem, mental health disorders and addictions. Regardless of your strength and wisdom before the traumatic event, your life after the traumatic event has changed. You must acknowledge that you are a different person, and you are at risk of potential future complications if you do not seek treatment and build a healthy support system. Educate yourself on trauma, the aftermath, and the possible complications. Read books and research credible online sources that can give you the knowledge and provide you with hope.
By helping others overcome their trauma, you are healing from within. You can be a light for a stranger’s path once you have found your journey to healing. Whether it is volunteering for a helpline, encouraging someone through social media, sharing your story at a support group, or befriending another trauma survivor, the power to help another human can be the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
Know that you are not alone
Seventy percent of adults in the United States have experienced some traumatic event at least once in their lifetimes. However, only a small fraction seeks help. Most individuals who endure trauma are ashamed and, therefore, do not reach out to tell their story. Instead, they live in their shadows or fear and shame. You are not alone, and you may be surprised at how many individuals in your life have also experienced a traumatic event. By telling your story and speaking out, you may encourage someone else to share his or her experience, and this ripple effect can continue.
We will always carry our trauma with us; however, hopefully, we learn that our trauma does not define us, and instead, we can take our power back, find our strength and speak up about our thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner. We can maintain our emotional, mental, and physical strength after trauma.
AKUA Mind and Body treatment
AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with depression and other mental health and substance use disorders. AKUA Mind and Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder.
AKUA Mind and Body offers detoxification, intensive treatment programs, and virtual outpatient treatment programs. AKUA Mind and Body uses a blend of holistic approaches combined with evidence-based treatment to help individuals who have been affected by depression to recognize their underlying triggers and develop healthy coping skills. Regardless of where you are in your recovery process, AKUA Mind and Body can help.