Many people are feeling pushed past their limits these days. Does it feel like you have a short fuse, get upset easily, or worry a lot – more than you used to? You may see others getting frustrated, cry, or blow up over small things. Do you want to hide from the world? Is it all too much? Feeling okay through stressful situations is possible when you can widen your window of tolerance of emotions.
If you are feeling inundated and overwhelmed by information about the trauma of the world right now, you are not alone. And if you are someone who experienced childhood trauma or you are in a relationship with them, you already entered this time with a lot on your plate.
In order to help survivors and their loved ones in one post, I asked two trauma-informed experts to weigh in on the topic of support for trauma survivors and their loved ones during Coronavirus. While this post is a bit longer than usual, I hope to give you trauma-informed information and insights you can use now and in the future.
You will also find links throughout the post and a recommended resources list from my guests and myself at the end.
This global pandemic, COVID-19, is happening to everyone! Everyone will have some trauma history after living through this crisis. Every child now has at least one point on the ACE score! (Learn more about the ACEs study and its connection to trauma and health.) Everyone needs support to build up their resilience right now, during COVID-19
When you witness or experience something terrible, you may try not to think about it. To help you, your brain may call on one of its most creative and ingenious coping strategies to keep you going: dissociation.
A question new clients often ask is, “How long is therapy going to take?” They are eager to feel better, heal and move forward. They want to pour out all the details of their story during the first session because they think it might help them heal trauma faster. But, because we are dealing with emotional pain or even trauma, we have to slow down and take it one step at a time.
Sexual trauma, abuse and violence affects a huge number of people — maybe even you or someone you know. Nearly 1/2 of women and 1 in 4 men report having endured sexual violence at some time in their lives (reports the National Sexual Violence Resource Center). One in 2 trans-identifying people report experiencing sexual violence, says the Center for Family Justice. Survivors face a huge challenge to enjoy healthy sex after sexual trauma.
Past sexual trauma undoubtedly impacts a person’s view of sex in the future—even if they are having sex now in a healthy, secure relationship. How do you enjoy healthy sex and intimate relationships if earlier trauma triggers terror or confusion around sex?
Flashbacks can take many forms. Children and adults can have emotional flashbacks. Veterans can have combat flashbacks. They are part of the aftermath of trauma for many people.
A person can experience trauma after an overwhelming experience, such as violence or an accident. Trauma may result from living with others who feel unsafe, such as parents or caregivers who were scary or shaming.