8 Strategies For Effective Trauma Recovery | by Denisa Millette
1. Full Psychological Evaluation – It is crucial that you and/or your child receive a full psychological or trauma evaluation, consisting of a clinical interview and a full clinical testing battery to determine correct diagnoses and assessment of your current emotional, behavioral, and cognitive functioning as well as your treatment needs.Many individuals are misdiagnosed and prescribed psychotropic medication based on a brief survey or an interview with a pediatrician or a psychiatrist. In such cases, the focus is placed on treating the patient’s symptoms rather than the actual core of their condition. Thus, the symptoms are only partially managed or suppressed and often new symptoms emerge.
2. Finding a Trauma Specialist – Facing and resolving your feelings and thoughts regarding your trauma or victimization is a necessary part of your healing. Given the difficulty and complexity of this process, it is imperative that you find a therapist who has experience in treating trauma victims.Cognitive-behavioral therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) have been found very helpful (9) in treatment of trauma symptoms.
3. Finding a Functional Medicine Doctor – an experienced functional medicine provider will evaluate your whole person rather than just your symptoms. He or she will work like an investigator piecing together your puzzle and identify missing pieces and imbalances triggering your health issues, including the physical trauma symptoms.Your doctor will also help you save time and money by pointing you exactly to the right tests and treatment methods so your path to wellness becomes clearer and your efforts more effective and less costly in the long run.
4. Exercise – Trauma experiences can often get you “stuck” in hyperarousal and fear. Exercise can significantly improve your ability to shift your mindset and move your focus from your negative thoughts to your body and the way it feels and thus, ultimately “release” your nervous system. Exercise that engages your whole body, such as walking/jogging, swimming, or dancing works the best.
5. Self-Regulation Techniques and Stress Reduction – learn simple techniques of mindful breathing, relaxation, and distress tolerance skills to cope with anxiety, depression, and negative emotions. Learn simple meditation or yoga – whatever you choose make sure it brings you relief and you enjoy it.
6. Sleep – Adult and children trauma survivors alike often struggle with inability to sleep or stay asleep. However, managing your sleep routine and habits is crucial for your emotional healing and trauma recovery.Sleep needs vary with age, but generally speaking, young children need around 11 to 12 hours each night, teens need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours and the average adult needs between seven and nine hours per night. For some very helpful tips on sleep, check out this article written by Dr. David Jockers.
7. Clean Up Your Diet – given that there are striking analogies between the neurobiological correlates of psychological stress and inflammation in the body, anti-inflammatory diet is most likely your best choice. Your functional medicine doctor can determine the best diet to increase your energy and minimize your mood swings and symptoms of depression.
8. Seek Support – it is very easy and common for trauma survivors to become isolated and withdrawn. However, this isolation is detrimental to your emotional wellbeing. Connecting with others doesn’t mean you need to discuss your traumatic experience with them.Simple participation in normal activities with others or volunteering will bring comfort to your soul. You can also locate a support group for trauma survivors to find encouragement and inspiration in hearing how others cope with their situation.
About Denise Millette: http://denisamillette.com/category/blog/