What crisis or trauma have you survived? A house fire. A natural disaster. Violence/prolonged abuse. The death of a loved one. Financial loss. Unfortunately, crisis situations are likely to pop up in our lives at least once. These situations can cause significant damage to our bodies, minds, relationships, and emotions. Fortunately, the human drive to survive is strong and you can survive the aftermath of a crisis. However, you need to know how to do it.
How a crisis affects our mental health
A crisis affects more than our relationships, life and physical body. More often than not, a crisis puts our mental health to the test, giving us new experiences with depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse. If your situation caused you physical harm, you and your loved ones may be focused on physical healing first and foremost. However, without appropriate attention to your mental health following the situation, months or years later you may find yourself with significant mental health complications.
Symptoms that a crisis might be affecting your mental health can include both physical and mental health related. Physical symptoms might include loss of appetite, headaches, fatigue and sleep issues (too much or too little) to name a few. Mental health related symptoms might include PTSD, depression, anxiety, irritability and unfocused thinking.
Someone who does not receive support to address the affect a crisis or trauma has on them could develop long term effects.
How to find mental health in the aftermath of a crisis or trauma
A crisis situation may happen quickly (an assault, catastrophe, etc.) or it may unfold over time (a job loss, a death, etc.). In either case, it is important to focus on healthy coping skills and self-care. Find a therapist or counselor near you, and stick to a regular schedule of appointments. Talk therapy can be extremely helpful in crisis situations, and it will give you time to unpack your feelings. In addition, many individuals have found peer support groups to be very effective in their healing process. Hearing the stories of other people who have gone through a similar crisis can help you learn coping skills, find resources, and make friends who truly understand what you are going through.
Don’t forget to focus on self-care. Be gentle with yourself as you develop ways to make yourself feel cared for and safe. This may require you asking for help from your support system.
Surviving a crisis can create resiliency or destruction when it comes to your mental health. With the right supports in place you can survive in your new normal. We are pulling for you and ready to be a place where you can research assistance and resources in your neighborhood.