Witnessing or experiencing a shocking or dangerous event can affect us significantly. Our brain can react badly to these situations and generate what is known as psychological trauma. This is extremely common during a war.
Conflicts like the current one between Russia and Ukraine generate situations like these, especially in the case of soldiers who must fight to protect their country. Civilians are also affected since they must be on alert at all times to prevent an attack by the enemy army.
How do you know if you suffer from a war trauma?
After experiencing a traumatic event, your brain goes into shock and most often you remember everything that happened to you over and over again. It can also happen that your conscious mind erases your memories of the traumatic event.
This happens when the trauma is too painful, so a dissociation mechanism kicks in to keep you from hurting too much, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a trauma.
The fear and anxiety of being in a war zone are the main catalysts for psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Other possible causes are losing a loved one, being a victim of physical abuse, among others.
What strategies can you use to overcome this trauma?
- Accepting and coping with trauma: This means accepting the impact trauma has on our lives and taking action to make things better. Facing the problem puts us in a position of power and helps us feel less helpless.
- Understand that recovery will not be immediate: recovering from PTSD or any trauma is an ongoing process that occurs little by little. Healing does not mean forgetting the events that occurred, but rather not feeling pain when remembering them.
- Talk to other people: it is important that you know that you are not alone. Isolation can only make the symptoms of the disorder worse. Talking about traumatic events with other people helps your brain process the information and speed up your recovery.