Unfortunately, most of us witnessed the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th. We have also seen the devastation and destruction that occurred from hurricane Katrina. Our hearts reached out to the family members of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombings, and many of us also have direct experience with the wars in the Middle East. Whether you have been personally involved in or have witnessed these events, you have experienced a traumatic situation.
Many people have been able to handle these events in a way that has allowed them to move forward. However, there are also many people who struggle with the ability to cope with trauma.
The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) researches how people react to national crises and traumatic events. The three top issues that arise from those who are unable to cope with trauma are as follows:
After surviving a disaster or act of violence, many people feel dazed, numb, sad, helpless or anxious, and they can become easily angered. Also, many victims of trauma have bad memories or dreams, or they avoid places or people that remind them of the disaster. After a traumatic event, people also have trouble sleeping, eating or paying attention.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that the first thing people need to understand when they experience trauma is that it will take time to heal. They also suggest the following tips:
The stress associated with an inability to cope with trauma puts people at risk for making poor choices. In an attempt to try to feel better, a person may choose to take alcohol or drugs. She may also behave in a reckless manner to compensate for the fear that lives within her. Unfortunately, going down this path provides another level of stress, because it creates a cycle of using drugs or alcohol to relieve trauma symptoms, finding temporary help, suffering through the consequences of drug or alcohol use and thus creating their another traumatic experience.
The road that led you to this place life has been a tough one. Events that were out of your control have been destructive and confusing. You need to break this cycle and create a new pattern of healthy living. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline for information about addiction rehab centers. They have experience helping people who have experienced trauma.