Cuts, scrapes, burns and broken bones will heal, often on their own – but what about trauma and emotional wounds? This damage can be caused by a variety of conditions and may involve a single experience or an ongoing series of events that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience.
Reactions to and symptoms of trauma can be wide and varied and differ in severity from person to person. A traumatized individual may experience a range of symptoms, leading to feelings of despair, loss of self-esteem and depression.
Healing from emotional and psychological trauma takes time and some basic steps towards recovery include:
1) It is important to stay connected with others and to maintain relationships with friends and family.
2) Many times, getting the problem out in the open can make it manageable.
3) Forgive those involved. Forgiving does not condone what someone else did, it simply releases you from the pain of their actions.
4) Most importantly, make a place for that event in your life and then put it away.
5) It’s important to remember that it did happen and it did affect you. At the same time, it is in the past, much like a chapter in a book you have read and choose not to read again.
If you find yourself wanting to but unable to follow these suggestions, you may want to get professional help putting the past behind you.