If you are in such a place now, perhaps your next step is to find someone that you trust to be a resource in figuring out the right kind of help for you.
Things you can do after trauma
A good therapist is a great gift, but not everyone has the privilege of availability of such a person and the money required. Still, you can do a lot of helpful work on your own, with or without a therapist:
- Doing your own psychoeducation is a good place to start. Read as much as you can about stress and trauma. A good grasp of this is priceless – it will enable you to recognize and make sense of patterns and behaviors that previously seemed random. Use self-help guides like this one or this one to gain more information about what is happening to you and to identify what triggers you and how to maintain yourself.
- Learn about different trauma therapy approaches. There are many. Pick one or several that appeal to you and read as much as you can about them.
- Get tips on how to choose the right therapist for you.
- If you can’t afford therapy, try to find a support group, online group and or a clinic that offers subsidized or free services.
- Establish routines of self-care and self compassion. There’s no trauma integration without it so make it a theme in your life. Learn how diet and nutrition effect your symptoms and how small modifications can make a big difference in how you feel.
- Experiment with physical and mindful activities like meditation, yoga, art expression, dancing and movement exercises. These have been demonstrated to be effective in mitigating post trauma symptoms and also facilitate neuroplasticity (change and growth in brain synapses and pathways).
*Reset exercise: If a sense of flooding persists, try this “reset” exercise: Ask the participant to jump up and down (as fast as they can) 10 times and then sit down and (preferably leaning back on something). Then have the participant take five long, slow in-breaths, (each about four seconds long, then held for one second before releasing), breathe out long and slow (for about six seconds).
Soldier photo available from Shutterstock