Coping with the Mental Impact of Traumatic Events

Coping with the Mental Impact of Traumatic Events

Author: Racheal Mosimann

We all have experienced some type of traumatic event in our lives. Whether or not someone struggles with mental illness, trauma is very difficult to endure. There are many ways a person can experience trauma and there are various ways people react to trauma. It is common for different people to have different reactions to the same traumatic event. For instance, two people who have lost their mother may grieve in different ways. One may choose to do spend more time with family to cope with their emotions while the other may utilize therapy services for support. Each person is different, meaning no matter how similar the event, every person experiences their own trauma in their own way.

So how is traumatic event defined? Traumatic event is defined as an incident that causes physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological harm. Traumatic events can be:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Car accidents
  • Natural Disasters
  • Verbal/emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Racial injustice
  • Witnessing or experiencing violence
  • War
  • Gang violence
  • Terroristic acts

The impact of traumatic events can be minor or great depending on the person and the severity of the event. While there is no right way to cope with trauma, there are wrong ways.

It is not uncommon for someone who has experienced trauma to utilize unhealthy coping skills. These might consist of:

  • Sleeping too little or too much,
  • Drinking excessively
  • Abusing prescriptions or street drugs
  • Isolation
  • Overeating or under eating
  • Gambling
  • Avoiding emotions

It can become easy to fall into one of these habits due to lack of knowing ways to cope, being motivated to cope, or having support in healthy decision making. While it may seem impossible to cope with a traumatic event you have been through, there are options.

The best way to get through a traumatic event is to cope with the emotions and trauma in a healthy way. Some of these ways may include:

  • Getting support of loved ones
  • Prioritizing self-care
  • Allowing yourself time to heal
  • Therapy/Professional support
  • Process the trauma
  • Connect with those who have been through the same trauma
  • Mindfulness
  • And many other ways

Coping with a traumatic event in a healthy way is extremely important. Otherwise, there are high chances for long term impact. Whether an event has majorly impacted you or it barely has phased you, it is important to be able to identify skills you can utilize as needed to maintain a healthy mind.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a traumatic event, please reach out to Valeo Behavioral Healthcare at (785) 233-1730 for support.