How To Support A Loved One Who Survived A Trauma

Watching a loved one struggling with the effects of a traumatic event such as sexual abuse, car accident, and the like can be painful and worrying.

But, with the sensitivities associated with the subject matter, people with traumatic experiences often opt to avoid talking about their struggles and take on the cudgels of their burden all alone. 

As a concerned loved one, you may not know what exactly is the right thing to do or say to ease their suffering. Some may be worried that they might say or do something that’ll make them feel even worse.

However, it’s important to know that there are some things you can do to help a person deal with trauma. 

Thus, if a dear family member or a trusted friend has just undergone a traumatic experience and is currently on their way to full healing, here are simple steps of how you can support them from the beginning to the end of the recovery process:

Learn And Validate Their Trauma

One of the best ways to provide support to a loved one who’s undergoing a tough time is by learning about their trauma.

Typically, it can be a complex and inexplicable feeling with the healing process surrounding trauma taking considerable time.

As such, it’s important to understand what it is so you can determine better ways of caring for your loved one reeling from a recent traumatic experience. 

On the other hand, you can also comfort them by validating what has happened to them.

Find time to acknowledge that their trauma is horrible and they’re in pain because of it. Although what you say is a bit obvious, simple affirmative statements can reassure them that you know what they’re feeling and you’re by their side while they face their struggles.

The aforementioned tips may be able to make them feel at ease with their feelings and make them feel a tad better. 

Encourage Them To Seek Professional Help

While you can always support your loved ones with traumatic experiences on your own, it’s said to be a better idea if you encourage them to seek help from professionals and get treatment.

Since trauma is regarded as a serious mental condition arising from the distress of a horrible event’s aftermath, it’s best if they obtain the proper medical treatment in dealing with it.

These can include prescription medications, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, different forms of therapy, and many more. 

However, if your loved one is facing a major financial setback that prevents them from getting the appropriate treatment, then getting compensation and support to help cover the expenses can be a good option.

For example, if your loved one was a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attack and has suffered severe health issues after the event, they may be eligible to receive monetary aid.

To have a better understanding of this, including the filing process and eligibility, you may want to read full article and other sources on the Internet for more information. 

Lend A Listening Ear 

Being there for a loved one who survived a traumatic event isn’t just about asking them questions about their experience. Sometimes, they’ll appreciate it more if you just sit down with them and listen to what they want to say. If they’re not ready to share the details of their trauma, just let them be. 

Avoid pressuring them to share what they’re feeling on the inside as it may only make the situation even worse.

Instead, listen and prevent yourself from trying to fix their issues. Again, the road to healing is long and unpaved. Improvements don’t happen overnight so try to listen to them as a way of giving them the support they need in every step of the healing process. 

Reach Out And Provide Companionship

Generally, when an individual is struggling with trauma, they may opt to isolate themselves as a means of coping with what happened to them.

Although it may be a good idea for them to isolate themselves from big crowds and social gatherings, checking out on them can be a perfect way of giving them support. 

Don’t let your loved ones feel they’re all alone in their fight to conquer their trauma. For this reason, be sure to spend more quality time with them. Let them know that they’re always in your thoughts and that you care for them deeply.

Reassure them that you’ll be there for them and are ready to listen when they’re ready to open themselves up. By doing this, you may be able to provide comfort and encouragement that you’ll be there with them by their side no matter what happens. 

Be Patient And Understanding 

People who recently went through a traumatic event are said to have fluctuating and intense emotions. They may find it hard to understand what their emotions are and why they’re feeling in a certain way.

Not only that but they may also find it challenging to make meaning out of what had happened to them. 

Your responsibility to your loved one who’s dealing with trauma is to be extremely patient with their healing process. This means you should continue to be a reliable source of love and support to them until they’ve gotten back off their feet.

Remember, the more they see your patience over the whole ordeal, the more they’ll find the will to recover and get their normal lives back on track. 

The Bottom Line

Experts agree that the possible aftermath of a traumatic incident on a person should be dealt with accordingly.

If it’s taken for granted, it can lead to an array of health conditions that can affect an individual’s wellbeing and societal relationships. 

If you know a loved one who just experienced a traumatic event, don’t hesitate to provide support by doing the tips mentioned above. By showing your support to them all the way with your presence, you may be able to help them move on and recover more quickly. 

Our editorial team consists of niche expert writers contributing to on regularly, with a wide range of experience. Thanks to our skilled writers, you're getting the most up to date and useful information available.