incredible-marketing Arrow

What Does the Healing Process Look Like?

When many people think of the healing process, they think of a linear line. Once you receive trauma treatment, you are healed and can go on with your life. However, this is not the case. Healing is full of ups and downs, and some days may feel more challenging to get through than others. Being aware of the struggles you may encounter during the healing process after experiencing trauma can help you understand how to get through the challenging days.

Triggers During the Healing Process

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “A triggering event is something that immediately reminds you, your family, or your community of a fear that was experienced during a previous traumatic event.” Whether or not you have completed trauma treatment, these triggers can arise.

However, being aware of what can trigger you can help you find the necessary coping skills. Common trauma triggers include the following:

  • Anniversary dates of traumatic events
  • New stories about similar traumatic events
  • Hearing about a traumatic event that happened to someone else
  • Certain smells
  • Specific songs or lyrics
  • A piece of clothing
  • Situations like driving a car

The best way to deal with triggering events is to soothe and regulate your nervous system. You can do this by trying the following techniques:

  • Intense movements such as dancing or jogging
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Distract yourself with fun hobbies
  • Splash cold water on your face

Experiencing Retraumatization

According to the SAMHSA, “Retraumatization is reliving stress reactions experienced as a result of a traumatic event when faced with a new, similar incident.” While you may wish to never experience trauma again, that cannot be guaranteed.

The SAMHSA outlines risk factors for retraumatization, including:

  • Re-occurring trauma, such as abuse or neglect
  • Being disconnected from others or not feeling supported by loved ones
  • Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drug or alcohol abuse

Unfortunately, at some point in the healing process, you may experience another traumatic event or triggers that are so intense, you feel like the trauma is happening again. You may not realize that the stress you are feeling in everyday life is related to past trauma. As a result, you become re-traumatized.

Signs of retraumatization include the following:

  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Experiencing emotions originally felt during the traumatic event
  • Extreme feelings of anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Inability to control emotions

The Healing Process and Setbacks

While treatment for trauma is a significant step in the healing process, it is not the end. You may still experience setbacks, such as triggers or re-traumatization. Depression or anxiety symptoms may continue to plague your everyday life.

The best way to continue in your healing process is to receive continuing care. This may look like outpatient treatment, seeing a therapist regularly, and seeing a psychiatrist. Mental health professionals can help you manage any setbacks you may face to ensure you continue in your healing process.

You may think that the healing process is linear. However, healing from trauma has its mix of good and bad days. Finding effective trauma treatment and continuing your care is necessary to help you cope as you navigate healing from trauma. At The Guest House, we offer various treatment methods targeted towards treating those with trauma and other underlying problems, such as addiction and mental health disorders. Our evidence-based and holistic approach to treatment can help you find the healing you deserve. Call (855) 483-7800 to learn more about our program.