Trauma (Verbal or Physical) at Work. Learn to Cope.

Most of us would never expect ourselves being a victim or witness of sexual or physical violence, bullying, serious accidents, natural disasters, and etc.

Encountering such an event can be very distressing and overwhelming as there is a risk of physical harm towards themselves and other people.

These situations can cause a lot of stress and a feeling of helplessness. People who are involved directly or indirectly to these events usually react differently and may take a differing amount of time to come to terms with the traumatic event.

It is very common for people to experience feelings of shock and denial immediately after event.

After several hours or days, these feelings would gradually fade and may be replaced by other thoughts or feelings.

About 3 days to 1 month after a traumatic incident, you may experience:

  • Recurrent, involuntary and intrusive distressing memories of the incident
  • Recurrent distressing dreams in relation to the event
  • Flashbacks, reliving the experience
  • Avoidance of people, places, conversation, activities, objects and situations that brings reminders about the event
  • Symptoms of headaches, nausea or dizziness
  • Feelings of irritability, anger, anxiousness, hyper-vigilance, guilty or sadness
  • Having issues with sleeping, eating, or fatigue
  • Having issues with concentration

These symptoms are a natural response to a traumatic event.

It is crucial to recognise and acknowledge them so that you can TAKE STEPS EARLY ON to adjust and to recover faster.

Here are some ways of dealing with the trauma before it gets worse:

  1. Talk to someone who you trust or a mental health professional about what had happened -processing the experience in order to make sense of what has happened.
  2. Don’t bottle up those feelings as it would only make you feel worse.
  3. Give yourself some time, knowing that these feelings will surely pass!
  4. Look to your family, friends or colleagues for support – they can be helpful during times like this. Remember that you are not alone in this situation.
  5. Try to maintain your usual routine at home and at work.
  6. Do not use drugs or alcohol to alleviate these feelings. Find other ways to keep yourself relax such as sports or music.
  7. Take care of yourself by having regular meals, an adequate amount of sleep and exercise.
  8. Spend some time doing things that you normally love doing.
  9. Be kind towards yourself and give yourself a break
  10. If you are having any difficulties at work, talk to your manager so that he/ she can provide you with the support that you need.
  11. Try to use Grounding Techniques to help bring you back to the present moment whenever you have flashbacks or recurrent distressing memories of the traumatic event.
Watch the video on Grounding Techniques by Kati Morton

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