It is difficult to see someone you love or care about experience life changing trauma. The worst advice given to people with trauma is not usually done to hurt or cause pain but instead said out of desperation to help. Many people who haven’t experienced a major trauma event in their life are not prepared or knowledgeable about helping those who have. Here are some examples of what NOT to say to someone with trauma:
Just try being your old self again.
- Trauma changes us. The experience of trauma opens our eyes to new beliefs about our safety or the safety of others, it may change how we view people. Sometimes it is not all bad though. Trauma can also help us to believe in the human spirit or maybe even the good in people.
Think logically. Stop being so emotional.
- We cannot be logical. Since our perspective is driven by fear we don’t always think straight. It can take a while before the limbic system (fight, flight, freeze) becomes deactivated and we are able to think more clearly.
Just try to get over it.
- Just because time goes by doesn’t mean that we forget. Unfortunately, with PTSD nothing fades No matter how hard we try to get over it and move on our bodies will not let us forget. Because of surging chemicals that reinforce every memory, we cannot walk away from the past. In fact, trying to push away our experiences and ignore them will often make our symptoms worse and prolong our recovery.
Stop being in denial.
- It is extremely difficult to live with PTSD. Even if we don’t admit it or talk about it, we know there’s something wrong with us. When we deny there’s a problem that really means, “I’m doing the best I can.” Sometimes taking steps to talk about it or get help feels too daunting and scary and would require too much energy, when we are just trying to make it through the day. Sometimes, simply getting up and continuing our daily routine is the biggest step toward recovery we can make at this time.
You need to control yourself.
- We are not always in control. PTSD is an exaggerated state of survival mode. We experience emotions that frighten and overwhelm us. Feelings such as; shame, fear, anger, guilt and grief inundate us. We act out accordingly in defense of those feelings we cannot control.
We understand trauma! If we can help you please contact us at Vancouver EMDR Therapy. Call 503-314-9337 to schedule a appointment.