Why did this happen to me? When life hits right in the face without any warning, this question doesn’t leave the mind. People start to  question everyone and everything around them. It becomes difficult to make meaning out of what happened and it takes time to even admit that it has happened because they are unexpected. Shock, denial, anger and grief are a few emotions that overwhelms people. It becomes a lot to bear, some melt down, others hold tight and distract themselves to escape from feeling. Trauma affects everyone differently and people come out of it different.

Trauma is known to have both short and long term impacts on the physical, physiological, psychological and emotional levels of a person. When there are repetitive traumatic events, it might cause changes at the neurological level as well.

The oldest and the most commonly used coping mechanism by most people against trauma is that ‘time heals everything’. Most people who experience trauma, only  Like everything that we achieve or desire, post-traumatic growth occurs when one is able to focus their attention on reality and not reliving the trauma repeatedly. Growth after a traumatic experience occurs naturally with time when one goes through different stages post the trauma: acknowledgement, identification, expression, acceptance and exploration. Acknowledgment of the occurrence of a traumatic event and the fact that it impacts a person on a lot of levels is very important. It is the first step towards change, which should be followed by identification of the impacts that trauma has caused on the different areas of their life and expressing them, is the most difficult part of recovering from the trauma. Detailed expression of the emotions that were experienced because of the trauma and how it affected the sense of self or life as a whole, paves the way for acceptance and post-traumatic growth.

Traumatic experiences challenge existing beliefs and make us question everything, even oneself. They force us to rethink every decision that we have taken and the way in which we were leading our life until the trauma happened. All these questions prompt one to look for new answers. In the search for the meaning of life, one finds a new sense of self, personal strength and strengthened relationships. This appreciation for life and spiritual development is called post-traumatic growth.

Having a melt down doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t ever grow from that pain, similarly, holding up together doesn’t necessarily mean that one has everything figured out. Whether grow post a trauma depends on how you process it.

Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.

About MindTribe.in.

MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.

About the Author.

Khushboo Jain is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.

Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.


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