We all feel that the world is stable and secure, that sudden change and loss will not happen, at least not to those of us we know. When the world as we know it suddenly changes and the impossible happens, not only can we experience shock and trauma, but our normal anchors can disappear. Confusion arises numbness and sometimes a sense of helplessness.
We may fear for our continuing safety and the safety of those we love, and not know where to turn for a sense of true stability. At this juncture issues, we may not have faced or dealt with arise strongly.
What Happens In Post Traumatic Syndrome
It takes time to absorb sudden changes and individuals react in different ways. For some, the need arises, to maintain stability at all costs. They may go into denial and seem to not register what’s going on. These individuals go on with their lives as though nothing has changed. However, they are unconsciously processing what has happened, taking time to absorb it all. By pretending that nothing has changed they are simply doing their best to maintain the semblance of normalcy. At this point, the ear that they will be overwhelmed if they allow themselves to feel anything at all. When the individual feels more able to deal with his feelings, or when the danger has passed, and they feel safer, the buried feelings begin to come up.
Post-traumatic syndrome simply means that the feelings a person has repressed during trauma are now arising. These feelings have been caused by the trauma and arise when the person feels able to tolerate their fear, grief, anger, pain, and helplessness. Some are able to do it sooner, for others it can even take years. The feelings may hit at any moment and when they do the person may not understand what is happening. Seemingly out of the blue a person can start shaking, crying, or going into a rage. Anything can tick it off, even something seemingly unrelated. But, it is the reaction to the original trauma that is now being released.
How To Handle Post Traumatic Syndrome
A) Understand What Is Happening – It Is Normal
It helps a great deal, first, to understand what is going on. Some people become terrified that they are going crazy, or losing control. Just realizing that it is perfectly normal for these feelings to be discharged will help a great deal. Do not fear your feelings, you are simply finally reacting to the shock you’ve been through.
B) Do Not Be Ashamed – Do Not Resist Feelings
Allow yourself to feel what is going on, breathe deeply through the feelings, and allow them to pass. Let go. Do not try to control your feelings. They are the only energy that is now being released. These feelings are simply a response to what you have been through; they do not mean that something is wrong with you. When they arise be gentle with yourself, kind, and patient. When these feelings are not resisted, they pass more easily.
C) Express Love, Warmth, and Solidarity
It helps to be with those you love and care for. Friendship, bonding, and love are wonderful antidotes for the feeling of meaninglessness and danger. Hug each other, express your love, know that although part of the world has crumbled, a great deal of good remains. There is stability in the love you can now share with others. Don’t hold back.
D) Do What You Can To Help
Reach out to others in any way you can. Make a call to a loved one, write a note, go to lunch with a friend. Take some time to be quiet or go to a place you love in nature. Allow yourself to absorb both your feelings and the events that are going on.
E) Prayer, Silence, And Meditation
Of course, the deepest sense of security and stability comes from one’s connection to a Higher Power, or one’s Higher Self. This is an important time to connect with that which is ultimately meaningful to you. Spend time in prayer, silence, contemplation, or meditation; know that you are looked after and that there is a larger purpose in all that goes on.