Coping mechanisms for trauma

Trauma is the reaction to a profoundly upsetting or upsetting incident that overwhelms a person’s capacity for coping, results in feelings of helplessness, erodes their sense of self, and limits their capacity to feel a wide range of emotions and experiences. Although there isn’t a set of criteria that can be used to determine which events may result in post-traumatic symptoms, these situations usually feature loss of control, betrayal, abuse of power, helplessness, suffering, disorientation, and/or loss. A person might be profoundly affected by an event and have their experiences changed even if it does not compare to a war, a natural disaster, or a personal assault. The kind of traumatic events that result in post-trauma symptoms vary quite a bit from person to person. It is true that it is highly subjective, and it’s crucial to remember that the response, not the trigger, is what defines it. Trauma is a psychological reaction to a catastrophic occurrence, such as an accident, rape, or natural disaster. After an incident, shock and denial are common emotions. In the long run, reactions can lead to erratic emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical discomfort like headaches or nausea.

Despite the fact that these emotions are common, some people find it difficult to go on with their life. They can work with psychologists to learn healthy coping mechanisms for their emotions.

The Greek term for “wound” is trauma. Trauma is today just as likely to refer to emotional wounds, even though the Greeks solely used the term to describe physical wounds. We now understand that psychological effects from a traumatic experience can last for a very long time after any physical wounds have healed. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is the recognised term for the psychological response to emotional trauma. Depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and recurrent nightmares are some of its symptoms. It typically manifests after a highly stressful experience, such as battle in war, a natural disaster, or sexual or physical abuse.

A person may emotionally and physically relive the trauma after a terrible event. The sound of a motorcycle engine, for instance, can trigger intrusive thoughts or a sense of reliving a terrible event that involved a similar sound (e.g., gunfire). Sometimes a neutral stimulus—like the sound of a motorcycle—can become mentally associated with a terrible event. Traumatic coupling is the term for this procedure.  Through this process, the unthreatening stimulus develops into a trauma trigger or trauma recall. These may result in unpleasant or even painful feelings. Reliving trauma can impair a person’s feeling of safety, identity, and self-efficacy as well as their capacity to control their emotions and negotiate interpersonal relationships.

Extremely traumatic incidents frequently leave their victims with challenges and difficulties in the future. Depending on the individual, the sorts of trauma involved, and the emotional support they receive from others, these symptoms might vary in severity.

Because of the constant reliving of past experiences, significant sentiments of wrath may regularly manifest, sometimes in inappropriate or unexpected circumstances. The person may be plagued by disturbing memories, including images, thoughts, or flashbacks, and recurrent nightmares may also occur. As a result of the person’s lingering anxieties and insecurity, who keeps watch for danger day and night, insomnia may develop. Trauma can result in physical changes in addition to alterations in how a person goes about their everyday business.


Moral damage 

Moral harm is the distress that results from a moral infraction, such as remorse or shame. There are other additional definitions, some of which are based on various causality models. Although they are related, moral injury is distinct from post-traumatic stress disorder. While PTSD is linked to fear and anxiety, moral injury is associated with guilt and shame.

Anxiety disorders

Disorders of post-traumatic stress and complex post-traumatic stress

Stress, a physiological reaction to an unpleasant event, is the root cause of all psychological traumas. Due to the long-term release of glucocorticoids, prolonged stress raises the risk of poor mental health and mental disorders. Numerous physiological dysfunctions, including immune system suppression and an increase in blood pressure, are brought on by such extended exposure. Along with the physiological effects on the body, the hippocampus also undergoes morphological changes. Extreme stress throughout adolescence can interfere with the hippocampus’s natural growth and affect how it operates later in life, according to studies. There is unquestionably a link between a person’s susceptibility to stress illnesses and their hippocampal size, according to studies.

Incidental trauma

War, abuse, violence, mechanised accidents (like car accidents), and medical problems are just a few examples of human-made, technological, and natural calamities that can result in trauma.

Depending on the type of trauma, as well as sociodemographic and background characteristics, a person’s reaction to psychological trauma may differ. The proactive, reactive, and passive responses are only a few of the behavioural responses that are frequently used in response to stressors. Proactive reactions involve making an effort to deal with and eliminate a stressor before it noticeably affects lifestyle. Reactive reactions take place after the stress or trauma has happened and are primarily focused on repairing or lessening the harm caused by the stressful event. An emotional numbness or lack of awareness of a stressor are frequently traits of a passive response.

Emotionalexperiences occur more frequently in these circumstances, and group processing and engagement with these emotions can boost resilience, promote post-traumatic growth, and boost a person’s sense of belonging. The catastrophic effects of psychological trauma are shielded against by these results.


Exposure to an event that entailed the real or potential danger of death, violence, or significant harm is necessary for the diagnosis of PTSD. One or more of the following scenarios could lead to your exposure:

You either:

  • directly experienced the horrific occurrence
  • personally observed others being subjected to the traumatic event
  • You found out a family member or friend was threatened by or suffered the traumatic occurrence.

Various traumas

The person’s health can be negatively impacted by trauma for a long time. Post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition that results from trauma, may have developed if symptoms continue and don’t become any worse (PTSD).

A traumatised individual might feel Trusted Source :

  • Denial, rage
  •  fear, despair
  •  Embarrassment
  •  Confusion
  •  Anxiety
  •  Melancholy
  •  Apathy
  •  Guilt, are just a few.

Trauma can take many different forms, including:

  • Acute trauma: This happens as a result of a single traumatic or risky experience.
  • Chronic trauma: This is the outcome of extended and recurrent exposure to extremely stressful situations. Cases of child abuse, bullying, or domestic violence are a few examples.
  • Complex trauma: This happens when a person experiences several stressful incidents.



Various forms of psychotherapy, commonly known as talk therapy, can be used to treat PTSD in both adults and children. Among the psychotherapy modalities used to treat PTSD are:

  1. Cognitive therapy. This kind of talk therapy assists you in identifying the cognitive patterns (ways of thinking) that are holding you immobilised, such as unfavourable self-perceptions and the possibility of traumatic events reoccurring. Exposure therapy is frequently used with cognitive therapy while treating PTSD.
  2. This behavioural therapy supports you in securely confronting memories and events that make you feel uncomfortable so you can develop appropriate coping mechanisms. Flashbacks and nightmares may respond particularly well to exposure therapy.

Support and coping

  • Consult a medical practitioner or mental health expert if stress and other issues brought on by a traumatic experience are interfering with your life. As you continue receiving post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, you can additionally do the following things:
  • Adhere to your treatment schedule. Even though it could take some time for therapy or medicine to start working, most patients do recover. Keep in mind that it takes time. You will advance if you adhere to your treatment plan and keep in regular contact with your mental health specialist. Study up on PTSD. When you have a better understanding of how you’re feeling, you may create coping mechanisms that will enable you to react appropriately.
  • Look after yourself. Get enough sleep, maintain a nutritious diet, engage in exercise, and relax. Caffeine and nicotine should be limited or avoided as they might make anxiety worse.
  • Never use self-medication. It may be tempting to use drink or drugs to dull your emotions, but doing so is unhealthy. It may cause additional issues in the future, obstruct curative therapies, and hinder true recovery.
  • Reverse the cycle. Take a quick stroll or dive into a hobby to help you refocus when you’re feeling stressed.
  • Maintain contact. Spend time with people who are encouraging and caring, such as family, friends, religious leaders, or others. If you don’t want to, youare under no obligation to discuss what took place. Even spending time with loved ones can bring solace and healing.
  • Consider joining a support group. Find a support system by contacting veterans’ organisations, your local social services agency, or a mental health professional. Alternatively, search a directory of local support groups online.

Additional strategies to lessen or prevent trauma

The person you love could appear to be a different person than you knew them to be before the trauma, such as withdrawn and melancholy or angry and irritated. The emotional and mental health of friends and family members who have PTSD may be severely strained.

Keep in mind that nobody can be changed. But you can:

  • Study up about PTSD.
  • Recognize that avoidance and withdrawal are components of the condition. This can help you comprehend what your loved one is going through. If your loved one refuses your help, give them some space and let them know you’re there for them when they’re ready to receive it.

The conclusion

Physiological, neurological, and emotional repercussions from trauma are possible. You may have PTSD if the aftereffects of trauma persist for longer than a month or interfere with your daily functioning.

Psychotherapy, in particular cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive processing treatment, and prolonged exposure therapy, is the gold standard for treating PTSD symptoms.

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