The best way to help someone overcome a tough traumatic experience is to show them take you care. Accept them the way they are, do not judge, listen with all your heart when they speak, create positivity around them, help them find a support group that can help them.
Despite your best intentions and efforts, it is possible that your loved one needs more help than you can reasonably give. Counseling may also help your loved one unlock the buried aspects of the trauma so that healing can begin.
Traumatic memories may have been repressed (buried), and subsequent behavior that is self-destructive may now mask the underlying cause. Generally, only professional counseling can unlock such deeply-entrenched memories.
Mike John, Content Explorer, MCA, Los Angeles, California, USA
Answered May 30, 2018
There are specialist counsellors who can help you if you are suffering from PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. In the UK, this service would be obtained by a referral from the doctor (general practitioner).
There are charities who specialise in helping one particular section of the community, such as ex-service personnel. In the UK this is Combat Stress and in the US PTSD USA.
However, the loss of a loved one, or a home move that has gone wrong, or bullying in the workplace can include a traumatic experience that does not lead to PTSD but does leave pervasive misery and difficulty in coping with everyday tasks. If you are a friend or relative observing this, sympathy is not enough although the sufferer's knowledge that you are 'there for them' will be a great support. It may be that some tasks cause your friend particular difficulty: perhaps talking to their children (acting normal), or carrying out complex financial tasks. You can look to relieve or seek relief for your friend from some of these tasks. Otherwise, most people are helped by continuing with a familiar daily round, tasks they can carry out on 'autopilot'. Doing so underlines the truismthat Life goes on.
Traumatic experiences cannot be wiped out. Some may need to talk them over, and over again. Others avoid any such discussion. Arguably, the latter suffer more. As a guide, an aged holocaust survivor who suffered horrendous events, gives talks about the holocaust to students and social groups with the intent to avoid such horrors ever occurring again. This has been her way of coming through and making some positive action out of the worstpossible experiences. Similarly, some parents who have lost children through certain accidents or illnesses have found it therapeutic to work for charities or concerns that promote better chances for future children.
Looking ahead with optimism is the ultimate target for those who have suffered trauma, but this does not arrive quickly or without effort. Loving support, professional support are bothimportant aids on the way.