10 Common Struggles People Face When Overcoming Trauma

Overcoming Trauma

Overcoming trauma can be a difficult process and everyone’s story is both unique and common. While you may feel alone in the chaos, remember that there are untold numbers of people facing similar problems. You are not alone. Here are some common obstacles you may face while trying to go from victim to vitality. Remember, God knows your struggles and He will guide you through.

1. Memories: Distressing memories of the traumatic event, which can be triggered by certain cues or reminders. These flashbacks can be overwhelming and make it difficult to move forward. While it’s not easy, actively engaging in thought redirection can greatly improve your life. 

(See: Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine [Norman Cousins] for more information on how redirecting your thoughts can help you heal)

The Bible says to “Think on Good Things” for a reason. By redirecting our negative thoughts back to the list of good things that Scripture references, we are literally changing our biochemistry. God knows how we are designed. He knows stressful thoughts will fill our bodies with cortisol and He knows if you can redirect your thoughts onto good things our bodies will fill with happy hormones. 

2. Emotional distress: Trauma can lead to intense and overwhelming emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, guilt, or shame. Managing and regulating these emotions can be a significant struggle during the healing process. Again, redirecting your thoughts to something positive will help calm the emotions. Engaging in laughter therapy, coaching, and thought replacement habits will help lessen the distress over time. 

3. Hypervigilance: Trauma survivors may remain in a constant state of high alertness, always expecting danger. This makes them untrusting of other people and circumstances that most people wouldn’t notice. To help compensate for this, it’s good to build a close-knit circle of support. It doesn’t need to be big, but a few good people you can depend on. 

Hypervigilance is anything but peaceful and God wants us to find peace. John 16:33 says that we can find peace IN HIM. Sometimes when overcoming trauma we can’t find peace anywhere. It’s not inside us. It’s not in the world around us. Where can we find it? Sometimes it can only be found through Him. 

(“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33)

4. Avoidance and numbing: In a perfect world you wouldn’t have to deal with this, but avoiding all triggers isn’t possible. A lot of victims try to avoid everything that could possibly remind them of the trauma, but this won’t work. It also steals your life from you. In reality, the trauma stole enough from you. It doesn’t deserve any more of your life. Instead, we need to actively focus on how to react to the triggers.

We aren’t designed to sit on a shelf. Humans are designed to live. Avoiding your triggers will only lead to more heartache. This is when you need to reach out for help, not hide.

5. Trust and relationship issues: Trauma can profoundly impact one’s ability to trust others. Survivors may struggle with forming and maintaining healthy relationships, experiencing fear of abandonment or betrayal. Communication is the most important element in forming healthy relationships, unfortunately, if you haven’t been a victim of trauma you may not understand those that have. This is where it is important to seek out professional help. 

6. Self-blame and guilt: Many trauma survivors grapple with feelings of self-blame and guilt, believing they are responsible for what happened or that they could have done something differently to prevent it. These feelings can hinder the healing process. Remember you do not need to take on the labels of blame, shame, and guilt. Those labels belong to the trauma and the abuser. 

(See: Who Are You Pretending To Be? – Changing Subconscious Labels)

7. Negative self-perception: Trauma can significantly affect one’s self-esteem and self-worth. Survivors may develop negative beliefs about themselves, feeling damaged, unworthy, or ashamed. It’s all about changing those labels and rebuilding your self-image. You are God’s highest form of creation on this earth. Let’s rebuild your self-image into what God’s called you to be.

8. Physical health problems: Trauma can have physical manifestations, including sleep disturbances, chronic pain, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and other stress-related physical ailments. Managing and addressing these physical symptoms can be challenging.

9. Substance abuse and self-destructive behaviors: Some individuals may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse, self-harm, or other self-destructive behaviors, as a way to cope with the emotional pain and distress caused by the trauma. If you have built a tight-knit circle of friends, they will support you and help you build better-coping mechanisms.

Someone once berated my father while he was battling the addictions of his past. 

“You’re just using this Jesus thing as a crutch”

Exactly. We need help sometimes and instead of using addictive substances why not turn to the Creator himself for help?

10. Rebuilding a sense of safety and control: Trauma can shatter one’s sense of safety and control over their life. Overcoming trauma involves rebuilding a sense of safety, trust, and control, which can be a significant struggle for survivors.

Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that He will never leave us or forsake us. This is a hard scripture to comprehend when we’ve suffered trauma. We ask why was this terrible thing allowed to happen. Unfortunately, this world is not governed by a just and holy God. It’s filled with wicked people who seek to harm and destroy. God promises us, however, that he will help us through the chaos down here if we ask for his help.

It is important to remember that each individual’s experience of trauma is unique, and the struggles they face may vary. Professional support from therapists, counselors, support groups, and spiritual leaders is absolutely necessary to recover from trauma. Don’t go at this alone. There’s help available.

Original Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Coming Soon…

Gratitude Through The Storm: A Guided Gratitude Journal

Whispers of the Mind: How Thoughts Become Things

Like a lighthouse in the storm, gratitude will guide you through to calm waters. This guided gratitude journal is a very personal project of mine and I can’t wait to share it with you all. My life hasn’t seen the sun in almost two years, but when I remember to practice gratitude my ship sails smoothly through the day. When I forget the waves crash over me and I find myself flailing about amid troubled waters. Once I catch my breath I’m again drawn back to the light of gratitude and the inner peace it brings.

This journal is more than just another list of self help topics, or scientific facts. It’s a tried and true journey that I am on. I do believe I can see the clouds parting and the sun shining through . It’s time to share with you all.

Make sure you are on my mailing list so you will be notified when these new books are released.

Humans have a hidden superpower. With it we can both create and destroy. In most people it is raw, unfiltered and troublesome. But, if we could train it and hone it to perfection, it is powerful enough to change the world.

There’s a wise old saying that says, “for as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” What does that mean, exactly? It means you become what you think about regularly. Your consistent thoughts become your actions, and your actions change the reality around you. I know this sounds like a bunch of hoodoos, but I promise you there’s science behind it.

What if we trained our minds to create instead of to destroy? We could change the world with one mind at a time.

Make sure you are on my mailing list so you will be notified when these new books are released.

Have you signed Up for Synova’s Free E-Book?

All that we achieve and all that we fail to achieve is the direct result of our own thoughts. Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. ” ― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

Synova writes commentary on this famous self-help book first written by James Allen in 1902. As A Man Thinketh may be in the public domain now, but it is a work for the ages. Why isn’t this information included in our schools?

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