- An unexpected, overwhelming experience that a person is not in the person’s usual routine;
- and/or the accumulation of many highly stressful experiences spread out over time.
When we watch repeated trauma of others on tv/movies, the news, the radio — and when we caretake those who have suffered first-hand, we ourselves can experience symptoms of Post Trauma Stress.
No, it’s not physically contagious, but emotionally the wear and tear can affect us deeply.
Symptoms of secondary trauma stress are : Nightmares, intrusive or obsessive thoughts about the trauma, poor concentration on normal activities, lack of comfort and pleasure in normal activities, irritability, thinking the worst in people, making rash and dramatic decisions that end up being self-destructive, thinking you may be a target of others’ wrongdoing, angry outbursts, self-harming thoughts and behaviors including alcohol/drug abuse.
If you experience these kinds of experiences, and can’t seem to let go of them or other people are trying to coax you back to your “usual self,” — and you just can’t seem to — call your local mental health or crisis center and ask for someone to talk to and get a referral to counseling.
We all need each other, even if it’s to tug us away from the news cycle and get out for a walk. Remember your joy factor, notice 5 things of beauty around you, practice comfort like it’s a necessity and not a luxury. These are the small things, when done regularly, will bring us back to balance and enable us to put positive, beautiful and joyful things into the world around us.
Contact me for more information or a session that can help. firstname.lastname@example.org . Take care, — Heidi Hansen, MA, Trauma Coach.