Two things sparked this post: this is Autism Awareness Week and a scholarly post about trauma by my internet friend James Amos, M.D. Both got me thinking about how often children are the silent victims of trauma.
emotional fitness training thoughts about trauma
Two silent and unrecognized by mental health trauma victims are the asthmatic, and the seriously mentally ill – particularly if a child. Then there are the families of these possible victims, including the younger siblings; both also 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 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 the scholarly presentation I mentioned above. It is 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.
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 for DEALING WITH Trauma
In my not so humble opinion, five steps are essential for treating anyone suffering because of involvement in one or more traumatic situations:
- Establishment of safety when that is possible. Asthma, child abuse, and bullying are often ongoing and full safety is not possible.
- Providing comfort and support.
- Educating the victim and family members about trauma reactions.
- Teaching the victim and family members strong self-soothing skills.
- Helping the victim and family members find comforting explanations for the reality of what they have endured and may continue to endure.
EFT 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 newest eBook.
Remember if you liked this post care and share: like, comment, or share with someone you know who needs support staying strong.
As usual for all you do to support me and others, thank you.
The first and most important: Emotional Fitness Training is a self-help and coaching program. It is not therapy. Nor does it replace therapy when therapy is needed. If the exercises and support provided here do not help you gain control of negative feelings, more may be needed. Support groups, coaching, and therapy are other paths to emotional fitness. I do advise when seeking additional help that you continue to practice EFT skills.
Anyone with suicidal thoughts, thoughts of harming other people, or who enage in harmful or dangerous out-of-control behaviors needs to get professional help. Anyone with serious suicidal or homicidal plans need an immediate psychiatric evaluation. Call a suicide hot line if you are unsure of where or how to get help. Suicidal hotlines USA. Lfe can be better.
The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog post. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments. Life is to short to let problems you can avoid irate you.