Ways You Can Help Someone with Trauma
Today is national world trauma day, and it is really important to know what trauma is and how you can help yourself and others.
Now, what exactly is trauma? As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, Trauma is simply a distressing or disturbing experience. That means any situations we experienced that we felt were traumatic and now feel some sort of effect from that experience, that is considered trauma. This can range between many things, from surface level to very deep, and affects each person differently.
Now when I first started to learn about trauma, I thought it was some sort of mental illness or disorder. That is not exactly correct. Anyone and everyone has some sort of trauma. It is due to the intensity and effect of the trauma that can lead people to develop mental health problems. Trauma is really a situation where negative emotions and experiences occurred.
With all of this, it is really important to understand how to help a friend, family member, loved one, and even yourself when going through a hard time, or just opening up about one.
I found some really great websites while doing research. The first one was betterhealth.vic.gov.au which had many different sections for you to look at from helping family or friends, to reaction and recovery, to trauma and children, to tips for parents, to family trouble, etc. but I found that mind.org.uk was incredibly helpful and wanted to share what they have listed.
How Can You Help Someone with Trauma?
- Listen to them
- Give them time
- Focus on listening
- Accept their feelings
- Don’t blame them or criticize their reactions
- Only give them advice when they ask
- Learn their triggers
- Ask them if any situations or conversations might trigger flashbacks or feelings
- Try Not to Judge
- Remember not to blame them or pressure them to get better without the time and support they need.
- Don’t Take Over
- This is their time to open up to you and not for you to encourage and support them to make their own choices
- Respect their privacy
- Do not share anything with others without the person’s permission. You wouldn’t want someone to tell the world what you have gone through
- Help Them Find Support
- Figure out with them what kind of help they need. And help them figure out what the next steps could be
- Look after your own Mental Health
- Remember, you are still human too
What I loved about mind.org.uk is that they have many ways to help yourself at the moment as well as long term, which is very helpful. This includes things like “if you’re having a panic attack,” or “if your feeling sad, depressed, or lonely.” For long-term examples, this includes categories like “get to know your triggers,” or “learn ways to relax.”
I don’t want to add to much in here because I want you to play around on the website and get to understand more through its sections. I hope this has helped give an idea. mind.org.uk also has a section about useful contacts to look at as well.
Remember we all have some sort of experience that gives us or will give us trauma, but we do not have to hold it in, because it helps to talk and hear people's stories. Our mental and emotional health is so important and we tend to forget that even the littlest of things can harm, but other little things can help very much.
all information is credited to mind.org.uk.