We are facing tragic times all over the world. As traumatic events continue to occur, it is important to protect your mental health, particularly when you are in the beginning stages of recovery. Trauma can be triggered by watching too much news, seeing too many stories or images on social media news feeds, and talking too much about the events with friends. Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder can come up from third party association. If you are witnessing too many retellings of tragic events and consuming too much visual information, you can become depressed, anxious, hyperarousal, and heavily distressed. If you are prone to compulsive behavior the stress caused by trauma could trigger cravings for relapse. While it is important to stay informed and aware of what is going on in the world, it is also important to take care of yourself first. Without your mental health in tact, you will be challenged in taking any progressive action, as well as continuing to fulfill your life responsibilities.
Spend Time Away from Technology
The news is available on any “smart” technological device, including watches. Limit your exposure to traumatizing events by limiting the amount of technology you use or the amount of news you receive on that technological device. Avoid social media platforms where the event will be a trending topic. If you have to turn your phone off for a long period of time or temporarily disable your profiles, feel empowered to make the decision to take care of your mental health first.
Focus on Positive Effects
Sometimes it is a point of contention to realize that people come together after traumatizing events. Instead of criticizing the nature to do well for one another only after something bad has happened, realize how important it is that people do come together after traumatic events instead of continue to act on indifference. Traumatic events often include remarkable, even inspiring stories, of heroism, altruism, and great giving. You can do something to contribute to the positive energy by making donations to a relief fund, volunteering to collect needed goods, or sending letters of support.
Make Sure Your Needs are Met
It is easy to be overcome by trauma and the need to cope with trauma. Don’t let your needs fall by the wayside because of the overwhelming presence of trauma. Getting enough sleep is essential to have the energy to sustainably cope. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet keeps your body going under emotional pressure. Ask to spend time with friends and family members who make you feel safe and loved.
Change the Topic of Conversation
Spending time with friends and family during difficult times can be a great source of support. Unfortunately, it can also be a source of frustration. Everyone copes with traumatic events differently. Your family members may need to talk about the events in order to cope effectively. When you’re with them, ask if you can change the topic of the conversation or politely leave the room. Remember, everyone needs to take care of everyone, but in order to do so you have to take care of yourself.
Castle Craig offers a residential treatment programme focused on healing from trauma. Our innovative treatment methods are at the forefront of trauma treatment. Restoring optimum health of mind, body, and spirit, Castle Craig seeks to help each patient find a renewed sense of purpose and meaning in life. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 5570. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006.
Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | July 31, 2017