Overcoming a Traumatic Experience

When You're Ready

Trauma survivors recover at different rates, so friends and family need to give them time to mourn and acknowledge that the situation is difficult. Some people will recover quicker than others, depending on the severity of the trauma; whether they are facing other issues at the same time; or how well they have coped with other traumas in the past. Some survivors experience comfort in talking about the event with loved-ones, or in a support group. Others may not want to do so and may confide to a diary instead [source: American Psychological Association].

When a person is ready, there are many options to help him learn to overcome their experience, including seeking professional help, medication, deep breathing, learning how to relax and release tension through body, and psycho-therapeutic techniques. Other techniques including joining a support group, starting a hobby and establishing a routine like exercising and eating meals at regular times [source: American Psychological Association].

Dr Rando counsels that people who live through traumatic experiences need to reconcile in their minds that there is the world they used to know, and the world they live in now. "To cope with trauma, you have to learn to make room for it in your life," she advises. "The trauma may end up being a part of your life story, but we want it to be one chapter, not the entire book. It might even be the biggest chapter, but it's still not the entire book."

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