Trauma is an intense emotional response to overwhelming events like violent acts, sexual assault, natural disasters or ongoing abuse. The signs of trauma don’t always show up immediately and can last for months or years. Mental health professionals can help individuals cope with trauma and prevent or lessen long-term impact.
Trauma is complex and its causes and symptoms can differ from person to person. The more you know, the better you can identify and address it in your own life or when it impacts a friend or family member.
Psychology Today explains the different types of trauma, their effects and treatment options.
This comprehensive overview of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) explains its causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Trauma and the Brain
Physician and professional musician Dr. John Rigg talks about trauma’s effect on the brain in this popular Tedx talk.
Regardless of the severity of the trauma you’ve experienced or where you are in your treatment journey, there are simple strategies for coping when the effects of trauma feel overwhelming. These resources are a good place to start, for you or to help a friend.
Take a Deep Breathe
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is step aside and take deep breaths or use simple mindfulness exercises to help regain control of your mind and body. Start by trying this mini meditation from Headspace.com
Get Tips from APA
This article from the American Psychological Association offers tips for coping with trauma, suggests when to seek help and explains how psychologists can provide evidence-based interventions to help with traumatic stress or acute stress disorder.
Tools for Traumatic Stress
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) shares 7 tools for coping with traumatic stress.
Treatment is often required to cope with trauma, and since it can impact all areas of your life, it’s best to seek help at the first signs of a problem. If you feel hopeless or like you can’t go on, don’t wait to contact these resources.