Post Traumatic Stress

A traumatic incident is definitely not an experience that any of us would wish for ourselves. If we look back at our lives some of us may realize we have experienced several traumatic incidents. These unexpected events can leave us with a feeling of helplessness and shock.

We all have our normal coping mechanisms, in a traumatic incident our coping mechanism may feel totally overwhelmed such as loss of employment, accidents such as car or motorbike, violent attacks such as mugging or smash and grab, emigration of your children or grandchildren or you might be emigrating, divorce, molestation it doesn’t matter when it happened it could have been recent or many years back when you were a young child.

It is regrettable that our culture in most cases ordains that we must be strong in order to be acceptable. We often hear: “ it is not the fact that you fell, it is how you get up” the “how you get up” has never been explained to us after a traumatic incident and many of us make the mistake of suppressing the incident together with all accompanying emotions. Suppressing the incident temporarily gives us the feelings of “I have dealt with it”

A trauma can have a detrimental impact your on life

The reality of a traumatic incident is that it could continue to impact your life, the people around you as well as your mutual or interpersonal relationships. If the incident has been suppressed the influence it exerts on our daily functioning might be attributed to ourselves in the form of believing untruths: “I have no coping skill”, “I have a short fuse”,  “the moment there is pressure I bail”, “I have an anger problem”. We all have our reactions to triggers; we must make sure it is not because of the traumatic incident.

After a traumatic event we want to move back to normal level of functioning. Biological, psychological, social and Spiritual factors play a role. We all have post traumatic stress after a crippling incident. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is when a disorder manifests after such an incident. The time between the traumatic incident and the disorder developing differs for each person, not all people develop PTSD. It is essential to be assessed by a counsellor trained in post traumatic stress.