Life is a roller coaster ride. With each trivial turn, we come across fleeting feelings such as suffering, agony, and happiness.
Emotional trauma is one such agonizing turn. We feel like it’s the end of our world, but it is not. Once we know how to recover from emotional trauma, we can speed up the healing process.
Trauma is the response to highly stressful events causing emotional distress to a person.
It can be of different types, but psychological and emotional trauma are the most prominent.
Psychological trauma is a response that can damage a person’s mind and ability to do work, and they find themselves not indulging in any activity. It threatens their emotional security and is sometimes so severe that they become numb to any event related to the trauma.
Emotional trauma is a response that makes you lose hope and feel helpless. Often people find it so difficult to heal that they go through prolonged depression, isolation, and suicidal thoughts. Lingering into such feelings causes more suffering.
Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Trauma
Trauma symptoms last for months to years and gradually fade as you process the event and thoughts. It does not mean that you will not revisit your past experiences, although you won’t be as bothered as before by those memories.
Recovery from emotional trauma is possible, but only when you make your mind to do it. Processing the emotions in your journey can be the start. Remember, healing comes from inside.
These are some of the signs and symptoms of emotional trauma.
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
- Digestive disorders
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Sleep disruption
Find yourself overwhelmed and emotional even a long time after a traumatic incident? You might have PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental disorder that mainly occurs due to failure of recovering from a traumatizing incident.
Symptoms of PTSD may include extreme physical reactions, panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, fear, and anxiety. Treatment mainly consists of medications and therapy. Support and care from loved ones can do more magic than any allopathic treatment.
Reasons for Psychological and Emotional Trauma
Any extremely threatening event that a person finds emotionally exhausting often leaves them with several coping mechanisms and deteriorating mental health. Here are some situations that can trigger psychological and emotional trauma in a person.
- The breakup of a significant relationship
Breakups can trigger severe emotional and physical distress. You may feel worthless, depressed, lose or gain weight, disturbed sleeping patterns, and have suicidal thoughts.
- Physical Violence and Drug Abuse
Victims and survivors of domestic violence and drug abusers have a high chance of going through emotional and psychological trauma. For these victims, the effects of trauma are so severe and often leave them unable to communicate, move, and other difficult problems.
Drug rehabilitation centres guide drug abusers through steps on how to recover from emotional trauma.
- Sexual Assault
Rape victims have almost three times more chances than others to suffer from depression. Although healing becomes a long and difficult path in such cases, eventually, they will learn how to recover from emotional trauma with external and internal support.
- A chronic illness
Chronic medical illness not only weakens your body but also takes away your ability to do any work. In such cases, the disability of the body and uncertainty of the disease makes patients more prone to PTSD, anxiety, and depression. How to recover from emotional trauma in such cases? It can only be done through consistent support from family and friends and sheer willpower.
- Childhood Experiences
The most overlooked form of trauma, which often becomes the ‘root evil’ during our adult life, is childhood experiences. Adults with childhood traumatic experiences like negligence and bullying come out as indecisive, having severe trust issues, and struggling with anxiety, to name a few.
- Natural and Man-made Disasters.
Losing a loved one in a disaster like a terrorist attack is often overwhelming, especially when you are the only one left behind. Victims find themselves grief-stricken, anxious, and in depression.
How to Recover from Emotional Trauma?
Traumatic memories can leave you with agonizing thoughts. Recovering from emotional trauma is an individual process; it is different for each person.
You need to understand that there is no booklet to accurately tell you how to recover from emotional trauma. Recovery depends on your coping with the traumatizing event, your approach to others, resilience, and processing of emotions.
It has been proven that loneliness affects trauma badly. The more you seek isolation, as people going through emotional trauma might do, the more the trauma chases you. As humans are social animals, we tend to feel abandoned and isolated in the absence of social relationships. Thus, it is necessary to be in a social environment to speed your recovery.
Communication plays an important role in recovering from trauma. Spending time with a family member or your friends and talking is one of the easiest ways to overcome traumatic feelings. Effective communication can strengthen relationships and improve your well-being.
Recovering from trauma is not an overnight process. It is a journey through which we learn to live joyfully in the present rather than getting overwhelmed by memories.
In the process of healing from trauma, some people slip into an unhealthy obsession with narcotics, liquor, and other tobacco items. These substances make your body numb, making it easier to run away from your painful feelings than facing them. This will not only prolong your healing and cause severe damage to other body functions.
You will often find yourself asking how to recover from emotional trauma or overcome this sense of helplessness. Worry not, for here are some methods to help your recovery process.
1. Self Help Methods
These are some activities you can do by yourself to keep your mind and body happy.
- Follow a routine.
- Get plenty of sleep by going to bed and waking up early.
- Go out for a walk every day.
- Exercise regularly, for around 30 mins per day.
- Meditate to calm yourself and face your feelings.
- Take a few deep breaths every time you find yourself under stress.
- Set up a new goal every day and try to achieve it.
- Try out new things.
- Interact and communicate with new people.
- Camp out in nature, go trekking.
- Listen to music.
- Try cooking new dishes or ones that interest you.
- Visit a spiritual place or attend a live session.
Published studies have found that activities like singing, dancing, painting, and cooking help release happy hormones, uplifting your mood.
There are other activities that are proven therapeutic, such as doing skincare and makeup, taking a calm bath with soothing oils, surrounding yourself with flowers, or petting an animal. You can also go through self-care guides for more information.
2. Keeping a Journal
Another way to recover from your mental trauma is by making a journal of your emotional journey. Writing is a form of stress relief. Some people keep a journal or diary while others write when they find it difficult to process something, to find a solution.
Before sleeping, write down everything from what you eat, how you feel and how you dealt with your thoughts during the day. Add some bright thoughts you had and positive events that occurred.
Whether the traumatic incident occurred years ago or recently, you can always guide others on how to recover from emotional trauma through your writings.
3. Professional Help
Taking medical help is another way to go. Many people feel safe with a therapist and share their painful memories. They provide a sense of security and guide you on how to recover from the emotional trauma that made your life unbalanced.
A professional therapist will point out your patterns of re-visiting the event and help you break the vicious cycle and to regain a sense of safety. Many therapists and counsellors give online sessions at affordable prices.
In case of depression and anxiety, therapists will prescribe you medicines like antidepressants and tranquillizers for insomnia.
4. Applications that Help with Trauma
There are many artificial intelligence applications and software available which are useful for people who find it hard to trust anybody. You can talk to them and get suggestions on how to recover from emotional trauma and cope with it.
5. Join a Support Group
Spiritual groups, self-help book recommendation groups, support groups, or communities of trauma survivors are some support groups you can join to get help on how to recover from emotional trauma.
If you are an introvert or do not feel comfortable in social groups, there are many support groups online where you can share your thoughts and feelings here without revealing your identity.
Nobody can teach you how to recover from emotional trauma; it all rests on your choices. You need to make up your mind and start the journey towards healing. It may be as simple as writing down your thoughts, engaging in a new activity, or simply opening up to someone.
Your feelings are valid; acknowledging them is the first step in any guide on how to recover from emotional trauma.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.