Life is Traumatic for All – Tips for Coping Well

We think trauma is about the big things, but for most of us it comes in smaller often unrecognized ways.  Think about this from the song Luka.

Abused child

Being beaten is traumatic, but so is seeing a loved one beaten. Unrecognized by mental health professionals, common  trauma victims  include the  homeless and very poor; the chronically ill, particularly asthmatics and those dealing with chronic pain; the  emotionally abused; the learning disabled; racial different;  LGBT or GBLT;  and finally the seriously mentally ill.

Then there are the loved ones and families of the abvet  possible victims,  including the younger siblings. These endure what the mental health professionals call secondary trama.

Often the children I worked with were those not yet diagnosed with autism. One that tugged at my heart had been abused by his parents for not obeying  and was bullied at day care for being different. He was six years old when my mental health crisis team worked with him and finally saw that he was properly diagnosed and provided the treatment he needed.

We also worked with many other children who were asthmatic and suffering from depression or behavior problems. Another child who lives in my heart had an older sibling who died at home while EMR tried to save her. A year later, the boy was referred to my team because of behavior problems. He was really reacting to repeatedly living through his sister’s near death asthma attacks. The whole family needed help with undiagnosed secondary trauma reactions.

Here is a scholarly presentation  by Justin Moser and was posted on the blog of my internet friend James Amos, M.D.  In the article, Moser did include as possible PTSD victims, those suffering from certain life threatening illness, but not asthma; nor did he talk about the trauma often connected to major mental illnesses or secondary trauma reactions let alone any of the above.  

That said, I am not interested in creating more victim-hood. Moreover, many who endure the above problems are what the helping professionals call resilient; they manage to put the trauma behind them or deal with it without mental health interventions. Good for them.

However, many others suffer un-necessarily when a bit of knowledge, improved self-soothing skills, and maybe a bit of therapy would give them a better quality of life.

EMOTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING TIPS

In my not so humble opinion, five steps are essential for treating anyone  suffering because of involvement in one or more traumatic situations:

  1. Establishment of safety when that is possible. Asthma, child abuse, and bullying are often ongoing and full safety is not possible.
  2. Providing comfort and support.
  3. Educating the victim and family members about trauma reactions.
  4. Teaching the victim and family members strong self-soothing skills.
  5. Helping the victim and family members find comforting explanations for the reality of what they have endured and may continue to endure.

EFTI programs are mainly for what the professionals call those that “Worried Well” as they are primarily self-help programs.  However, each program  also serves as an aide in deciding when more is needed.  This is particularly true for those EFT programs related to self-self soothing, like my eBook. Self-Soothing, Create Calm in Your Life. When such programs do not work, More is needed.

That more might include self-help groups, coaching, counseling, or therapy including medication or hospitalization.

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Kindness improves emotional fitness and your odds of staying healthy. You can practice kindness right now by liking, commenting, or sharing this post.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time.  I work on doing that all the time.

Katherine

 LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are mainly  for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness. However at least one relates to the topic of this post.

Be With Beauty (Pinterest.com)

Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)

The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)

Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents  (parentsarepeopletoo.com)

WORD PRESS DAILY PROMPT

Not inspired by this daily prompt, but related to it.

The Great Pretender: Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.

Most trauma victims become great pretenders in the sense that much of who they are remain hidden. The hurt hide behind hate or fear.  The weak pretend to be strong by allying with the strong.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.