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Strategies for coping after traumatic experiences

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:09 am
by Caroline
I am interested to know what strategies helped people with their recovery post trauma.

Re: Strategies for coping after traumatic experiences

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:05 pm
by Jo Bloggs
Facing your fears that appeared post trauma, admitting these fears and trying to deal with them. I took driving lessons again after my accident to see how I would get on. Mine involved a double articulated lorry so whenever they came near me I just wanted to hide in a hole or put my foot to the floor and disappear. I know I will always be nervous of them and sometimes cry when they are too close but deep breaths and trying to be rationale kicks in. initially it was complete panic and being frozen to the spot but time is the best healer as they say. I was advised to have a second bout of counselling and it has really helped. This has now been going on for more than a year and I'm cutting it down gradually to every 6 weeks now. My husband tries to understand but when I open my mouth and nothing comes out as my mind is blank it is hard.

what advice do you have Caroline?

Re: Strategies for coping after traumatic experiences

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:13 pm
by Caroline
I had a fall from height and was really ill for a long time - initially I had a lot of professional support - doctors, physio etc to deal with my physical recovery but looking back now at my journey, the thing that really kept me going were personal goals. It wasn't a conscious strategy but when I was in hospital I needed something to focus on - the first thing was to feed my self, sit up, and then to get out of bed, to walk again. It all took a long time but as I reached each target I already had the next in mind. They were small small steps (but huge for me!) in the beginning but as my recovery progressed the things I wanted to do got going home, managing on my own, getting upstairs, driving, back to work .... I still have goals that I am working towards but overall my focus has been to get my life back and not to let my accident control the rest of my life.

Re: Strategies for coping after traumatic experiences

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:17 pm
by Jo Bloggs
I was involved in a motorcycle accident where I was trapped under the lorry in a wheel. My partner was killed on impact as he took the full force whereas I was pillion. I was airlifted to hospital but have no memory of the accident just waking up in hospital wondering what on earth had happened to me. The frustration of waking up in a different world to the one I knew was immense and not being able to connect the dots with what had happened. I was very lucky in that some people stopped and helped and I am now good friends with these people as they contacted the police to see how I was getting on. Being able to thank these people for taking time out of their busy bank holiday to help me was amazing and also to ask them questions on what had happened. I have a book that I write in to let out thoughts on a regular basis when I can't talk to anyone which helps. The physical aims I agree are easier to deal with its the mental side of not letting what has happened to you run your life. I still cry and scream to let it out but luckily enough have met a new partner who is understanding and patient. I went to visit the air ambulance to thank the doctors there who helped me. I did everything I could to say thanks to the people who were there to save me. Helped me to move on. hardest part is acceptance, what if but then you realise how much it has affected everyone else connected to you. any form of trauma makes you look at life differently and what is important.

Re: Strategies for coping after traumatic experiences

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:55 pm
by TraumaHoff
There are a few helpful ideas on this website and just telling your story and talking to other people helps a lot!

Re: Strategies for coping after traumatic experiences

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:47 pm
by DuncanBuckley
Unfortunately, the experience never goes away but it does fade with time. However, yes, there are various different mechanisms a victim of serious trauma can go through to alleviate the mental difficulties associated with the triggers.

Following my experience of severe trauma, I sought a form of counselling when I was discharged and that did help, but only if you find a very understanding counselor and you're okay with talking through your experience. 'TraumaHoff' is right in that respect, sharing the experience in different forums helps to "unload" some of the anxieties and it gets easier with each one.
One area I found particularly helpful was the Patient Public Involvement groups at the local hospital trusts. Through there, not only are you meeting with like minded people who have also been through similar experiences, but you can also help to make things better for others that follow you; a sort of justification approach to the injustice.

I was diagnosed with PTSD some years later after the counselling service was discontinued due to funding in my area, so returning to my GP I was referred for EMDR therapy (

I can heartily recommend this form of therapy to help address some of the issues you may be experiencing.