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RedMosquitoMM's avatar

What's the healthiest way to deal with emotional trauma?

Asked by RedMosquitoMM (531 points ) January 12th, 2010

It’s all subjective with this topic and everybody’s opinion counts, so include whatever info you think is relevant.

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15 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

Don’t deny it, embrace it.

Allow yourself to feel it as fully as you can. Cry, rage, weep, whatever it is just take it all in, as much as you can until it sweeps over you like a wave. Don’t hold anything back, don’t try to analyze it, just face it all acknowledge it, accept it all, every last drop. Then when you’re so wrung out, so cried out, yelled out that you can’t stand, so drained that it’s an effort just to acknowledge that it’s over, smile, even if you have to force yourself, and let it go.

galileogirl's avatar

Learn from it, deal with it, accept it and then move on

Pandora's avatar

The person who had the trama should give themself time and people around them should also give them time. And seek counseling if it looks like its more than you or they can handle.

spiritual's avatar

Talk to someone, bottling your feelings up means they can fester and get worse.
If you talk to someone, you can get it all out in the open. Getting a different opinion, and someone to say you’ll be ok, and what you’re feeling is natural helps an awful lot.

Naked_Homer's avatar

This is going to sound shallow but I do several things. I pamper myself with things I don’t normally get like certain food.

I live very, very, very, very frugally. So I might treat myself to a purchase like a CD or something.

I also visit a certain friend who has been there for me for 38 years, since we were 12, through thick and thin. He always reminds me I have someone I can turn to.

MrsDufresne's avatar

1. Feel your feelings to their fullest.
2. Express them thoroughly, yet constructively.
3. Turn your pain into the power to heal someone else that feels the same hurt.

rMacker83's avatar

Exercise and then time management.

bitter_sweet_rose's avatar

don’t deal with it alone, get all your friends and have a good time. Then the next day whatever emotions come let them out. If you hold back you could go off on someone you love. personally i have done that and i felt like crap afterwards.

borderline_blonde's avatar

I think galileogirl summed it up very well. Coping with emotional trauma is a process that takes time. For me, the four steps she outlined (learning from it, dealing with it, accepting it, and moving on) are the best route to take so that the situation doesn’t come up later to bite you in the a** (whether in your external or internal world).

CaptainHarley's avatar

@wonderingwhy

Excellent answer. Give yourself a chance to grieve. The end of a relationship, for example, is the emotional equivalent of the death of a close relative.

Trillian's avatar

The ability to process it is important, but I believe that my method of processing may not be yours. Example: Several years ago while I was still in the Navy, a civilian plane crashed into the side of Nimitz hill in Guam. As a hospital corpsman, I was among the first to respond. It was still dark when we got to the site but day was just coming on. It was a grueling day to say the least, but worse for the passengers, most of whom did not survive. A lot of what I saw was horrifying, and I will not repeat any of that here. For the next several days we were taken in groups for “de-briefing’ to “help us deal with what we had seen. Most of the corpsmen, myself included, resented this. We felt no need to verbalize about it. Many of us were also EMT’s or had some trauma experience, albeit not on this particular scale. The civilian females in my particular group cried and carried on as if it were a drama and as far as I was concerned, completely disregarded the larger picture of 300 dead civilians, and a handful of survivors, many of whom were badly burned. I was ordered to keep my mouth shut and let them vent, even though they had not been at the crash site. Blabbing on and on was their way of processing the shock of what had happened. Whatever.
My way of processing was more internal. I can tell you to this day the first thing I saw when I arrived on scene, but I cannot REMEMBER what it looked like. My mind, very thoughtfully, blocked it out for me.
So give yourself time to process and integrate it into your experience. If you need to talk about it, do so. It’s ok. If you don’t feel the need, don’t force yourself.

augustlan's avatar

It really depends on the specific trauma and the individual involved. Generally, I think the first two answers are great, but sometimes a different approach is needed.

wundayatta's avatar

I wish I knew.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think it varies and I think it’s all acceptable. People deal with trauma differently. I look at my past traumas in a detached fashion – and I surprise myself at how detached I sound.

lonelydragon's avatar

Whatever you do, don’t repress it. That is what I used to do. I would try to shrug off the pain and stay as busy as possible. In the short term, pretending to feel no pain will improve your mood, because your emotions will follow your attitude. But when you have leisure time for reflection, the negative feelings will return with a vengeance. It is better to face them head on.

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