PTSD, also known as a post-traumatic stress disorder, may be familiar to you. It is a mental illness that develops after a traumatic occurrence and is frequently marked by flashbacks, excruciating anxiety, and unsettling thoughts.
Post-traumatic growth is perhaps a term that fewer people are familiar with.
Even though trauma can elicit a horrifying and crippling reaction, it can also occasionally act as a catalyst for constructive transformation. In the finest scenarios, it might even spur development, toughness, and resilience.
When you are able to transcend trauma and turn hardship to your advantage, post-traumatic growth takes place.
What is the best way to go about doing it? Find out by reading on.
FEATURES OF POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH
According to Dr. Marianne Trent, a clinical psychologist and the proprietor of Good Thinking Psychological Services, “post-traumatic growth (PTG) is when someone who has been affected by PTSD finds a way to take new meaning from their experiences in order to live their lives in a different way than before the trauma.”
According to a reliable source, after a traumatic occurrence, about half of trauma survivors experience post-traumatic growth.
Trent cites “personal strength, appreciation for life, new opportunities in life, spiritual change, and relationships with others as examples of avenues for growth.” Examples of PTG are numerous and include creating books, discovering God, establishing charities, and many others.
Environmental psychologist and well-being expert Lee Chambers claims that PTG can manifest in a variety of ways, including the discovery of hidden skills and abilities, gaining the self-assurance to take on new challenges, and feeling a sense of strength.
According to Chambers, “it tends to develop a level of mindfulness and thankfulness for life and the present moment as well as a focus on those connections that should be valued, typically those that the individual thinks were there for them in trying times.”
Other frequently mentioned effects include a desire to lend a hand and aid others, appreciation for life, increased self-awareness, and increased compassion for others.
POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH AND PANDEMIC
Although post-traumatic resilience is nothing new, once the pandemic ends, you might hear more about it.
88 percent of the 385 survey participants, according to a current study that appeared in the Journal of Psychiatry, claimed to have benefited from difficult pandemic situations like parenting, drop in income, and health issues.
Particularly, respondents indicated a deeper appreciation for life and good changes in family ties. Others claimed to have grown spiritually as a result of the pain of the pandemic and reported better mental health.
VARIOUS REACTIONS TO TRAUMA
It’s evident why some people grow from tragedy while others are crushed by it, which raises the obvious topic of post-traumatic growth.
According to Trent and Chambers, the following elements are crucial:
- a solid network of supporters, extraversion and openness, and the capacity to absorb the painful experience
- creating new philosophies in the wake of the horrific event
- There are numerous factors that can affect how traumatizing events can be used for good, according to Chambers.
HOW TO BEAT THE ODDS
There are actions you can take to achieve integration if you have experienced trauma. You can respond to your experience with a post-traumatic development response, however, it takes time.
These actions comprise:
- Considering your feelings and experiences.
- creating a sense of neighborhood.
- getting help for one’s mental health.
Chambers advises writing down your feelings as a first step in the emotional processing process.
“Writing down what we’ve experienced and how we managed it enables us to become more aware of how we handled our reality shifting overnight,” the author claims.
Reflecting allows us to develop our thankfulness.
We can think about the purpose in our lives and the things we value and are grateful for, according to Chambers. “We may begin to realize how wonderful our lives are after things are taken away and we learn to be resourceful.”
Chambers thinks that creating a sense of community and asking for help from individuals you can trust can both be beneficial.
He said that during the pandemic, “communities have banded together to support one another, building links and supporting the weak.” “Many people claim that this purposeful connection has increased their sense of gratitude for others and their sense of belonging to something greater.”
WHEN TO SEEK HELP?
Trent advises taking the following actions if you or someone you know is displaying these signs:
- Speak to your doctor or dial the number for the nearest 24/7 mental health services.
- Discuss your feelings with a family member or friend you can trust.
- Consider recording your experiences in a journal. Even the act of listing everything from A to Z can aid in the processing of occurrences.
- It can be beneficial to learn to accept your difficult thoughts or feelings for extended periods of time as opposed to shoving them away or employing diversion methods. Techniques for reducing distress, including box breathing for three to four breath cycles, can actually make it easier to deal with upsetting ideas.
- It might be quite helpful to learn about stabilization strategies or to seek out psychological counseling.
The idea of post-traumatic growth, according to Chambers, “lies in the knowledge that stressful, traumatic, and unpleasant events that happen to human beings have the ability to yield beneficial advantages.”
The good results from enduring the psychological battle of these events are post-traumatic growth, which can range from serious illness and loss of a loved one to military conflict and sexual assault. These occurrences are frequent experiences that can reshape a person’s life.
If you’re managing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, knowing that terrible situations can be a catalyst for growth may give you hope.
But rather than hurrying to reach a phony feeling of positivity, it’s crucial to take the time to properly analyze your trauma experience and not dismiss it.
With the right assistance, doing so can eventually enable you to enter a more optimistic frame of mind.
When you require assistance right away
Please seek support if you or someone you know is struggling or thinking about harming yourself or others.
- Dial your local emergency number or 911.
- Dial 800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- To contact the Crisis Textline, text “HOME” to 741741.
- Not in the USA, is it? With the help of Befrienders Worldwide, locate a helpline in your nation.
- Keep them close while you wait for assistance and take away any dangerous objects or weapons.
If you are not living with them, talk to them on the phone until aid arrives.
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