How to Approach Your Loved One After Trauma

How to Approach Your Loved One After Trauma

Loved ones experiencing trauma

Many people struggle with how to approach a loved one who has experienced a serious trauma. Trauma, including injury, illness, assault, robbery or other violent incidences, is not an experience we would wish on anyone, especially someone we love. You may feel helpless to see someone you care about experience a difficult situation, but there are ways you can help your loved one and yourself after a traumatic experience.

Don’t Assume Things

If a loved one was involved in a serious accident, we may guess how that person feels. However, it is easy to misunderstand exactly how another person is feeling. Trauma reactions are different for every person. One person may try to hide the trauma or even joke about the incident while another may feel uncontrollably weepy or depressed. Every person is unique, and the way our brain reacts to trauma may vary wildly from person to person, especially in the early phases of trauma.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you are concerned or if you do not have a clear idea of what happened, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the incident. But before you ask your loved one any questions, take a moment to ask your loved one how he or she feels about discussing the event. Not everyone wants to discuss or answer questions right after a trauma.

If your loved one does not want to talk about the incident, consider counseling for trauma. Your loved one may be better able to talk privately with a therapist. You may also get a number of questions answered by attending a treatment session with a licensed therapist. Understanding the facts about trauma from a reputable treatment provider can help you approach your loved one and help in the best way possible.

Understand That Healing from Trauma Is a Process

Healing from trauma is a process. And individuals progress through the healing process at different rates. There will be good days and bad days, so it is important for the person who was traumatized to have a good support network and possibly, a good mental health counselor to help ensure healing and wellness remain constant.

Remain Calm and Remember to Care for Yourself

It’s easy to forget your own emotional wellness when you are busy caring for a loved one. You don’t have to support your loved one all on your own. Remember to take care of yourself and seek your own emotional support during this time. You will not be able to help the person you love if you do not take care of your own emotional wellness first. That includes counseling, taking breaks as needed, and treating any underlying issues that may complicate your situation, such as addiction or depression.

Get Help for Trauma and Addiction

We offer a toll-free helpline that specializes in helping individuals and families heal from trauma, mental health issues and addiction. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to help you find reputable mental health resources, family counseling, trauma treatment, addiction counseling and more.