Expert advice Mind

How To Tackle Trauma Effectively

Dr Roshan Jain

Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru

4 min read

Despite knowing the struggles of the mind can cause lasting effects on our lives, we choose to ignore the fact. Psychological ‘wounds’ are not readily accepted nor recognised. Given the unpredictable world, we live in, understanding to deal with  traumatic psychological injury of the mind has never been more critical. The longer we wait to tend to our mental well-being, the bigger the problem may develop!

Everyday Trauma
Even in the comfort of our homes, we are traumatised daily by flash news of natural disasters, war, violent crimes, accidents and abuse. The breaking news of catastrophes may numb us to an immediate emotional response, leading us to be less empathetic towards victims.

What Is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a stress-related anxiety disorder. It is defined as a normal reaction to an experience or witnessing an overwhelming incident during which individuals have an intense combination of emotions like fear, hopelessness or horror. Episodes like domestic abuse, sexual abuse, life-threatening accidents and even childbirth cause PTSD.

Wellness advice from qualified experts

Get personalized and curated wellness content on
By clicking, you agree to T&C and Privacy policy

About nine per cent, new moms deal with postpartum PTSD. It is caused by dealing with a complication while giving birth or due to the declining health of the baby, post-birth.
Usually, PTSD symptoms appear after a month of experiencing a terrifying incident but these symptoms could be dormant for years.
Intrusive Memories

  • Repeated and painful recollections of a traumatic event in the form of dreams, flashbacks or memories.
  • Reliving the unfortunate incident frequently
  • Vulnerability and psychological distress when exposed to things that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the trauma like an object or date or anniversary.

Avoidance Features

  • Trying to escape the thought or feelings associated with the trauma or avoidance of activities, places, people and situations.
  • Some individuals are unable to recall even an essential aspect of the trauma.

Heightened Arousal

  • Difficulty in falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outburst of anger progressing to rage
  • Difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance and easily startled
  • Confused and troubled behaviour
  • Unable to concentrate and poor memory

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Talk Therapy) & Structured Counselling manages or resolves distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviour associated with traumatic events ​

Other Features

  • Lack of interest in anything
  • Loneliness and detachment from the world
  • Clinical depression
  • Crippled with anxiety and panic
  • Inability to have a definite range of affection like love or kindness
  • Hopelessness and helplessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Diminished self-esteem and confidence
  • Difficulty in coming to terms with the incident that can lead to continued self-victimisation

Join the wellness movement!

Get personalized and curated wellness content on
By clicking, you agree to T&C and Privacy policy

Who Does It Affect?

  • PTSD can affect all age groups, even children
  • Females are more likely to be affected by PTSD
  • About 1 to 3 per cent of the population is affected by PTSD

Individual differences such as analysing the event and the capacity to cope with catastrophic stress explain the reason why some exposed to traumatic events do not suffer from PTSD while others go on to develop the full-blown syndrome.

Suffer From PTSD: Facts & Figures

  • An estimated 50% of rape victims
  • About 30% post a physical assault
  • Incidents like witnessing serious injury (7.3%) and natural disaster (3.8%) also increase vulnerability
  • 20% of those who have witnessed war and have been wounded

A journal of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) that published a research paper on PTSD revolving around India stated that the biggest reason for PTSD is abuse!

Dealing With PTSD
PTSD requires due attention and empathic care because it is a delicate issue that deals with all the ordeals an individual has experienced. Combination treatment with talk therapy and medication is found to be the most effective method to manage PTSD.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Talk Therapy) & Structured Counselling helps the victims learn new skills on how to process memories and emotions related to the trauma caused. It also manages or resolves distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviour associated with traumatic events. Additional Treatments include medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety tablets help reduce the impact of symptoms. Offering assistance for the victim’s family helps psychologically and plays a pivotal role in the victim’s recovery.

Front-line personnel need to be aware of providing psychological first-aid to assist people in the aftermath of significant events to reduce initial distress, improve adaptive functioning and reduce secondary victimization.