When someone you love is coping with the effects of trauma, you are also affected. It isn’t uncommon for people who are supporting those who have been traumatized to feel the effects of one’s trauma. They may develop similar symptoms of traumatic stress, which is called secondary trauma. To care for your loved ones and maintain your own mental health, you must be alert for the signs of secondary trauma. Recognizing these signs encourages you to practice self-care and other approaches to heal and protect yourself from secondary trauma. If you’re coping with the effects of secondary trauma, and are now struggling with addiction, contact Crossroads Maine at 877.978.1667.
Symptoms of Secondary Trauma
Specific circumstances may cause you to be more susceptive to secondary trauma and its effects. You might be experiencing stressful family situations or be in an unhealthy work situation. You may also be unable to recognize your experience as that of secondary trauma. In addition, if you have direct contact with other people who have been traumatized or individuals who are coping with their own trauma, you may be at a higher risk of contracting secondary trauma.
Secondary trauma impacts every aspect of a person’s life. The effects can be mild, but they can also be somewhat debilitating. If you believe you’re at risk for this condition, you should be aware of the following symptoms:
- Emotional symptoms: feeling overwhelmed, numb, detached or hopeless
- Physical symptoms: Unexplained aches and pains, having low energy, and feeling tired
- Behavioral symptoms: Engaging in self-destructive behaviors or changing your routine
- Professional symptoms: Feeling low job morale, experiencing low performance of responsibilities and job tasks
- Spiritual symptoms: Lacking self-satisfaction or questioning life’s meaning
- Cognitive symptoms: Lessened concentration, experiencing confusion, having difficulty with making decisions, imagining events repeatedly
- Interpersonal symptoms: Becoming emotionally unavailable to your family or co-workers or physically withdrawing
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of secondary trauma, it’s vital to take specific steps to manage your condition.
How to Manage Secondary Trauma
One of the most vital steps to managing your condition is that you need to be aware of your condition. Your friends and family may need to know the signs of secondary trauma so that they’re aware of this condition as well. Checking in with each other can allow you to vent your feelings of stress and frustration. When you acknowledge the stress of your situation, you and your loved ones can feel like other people hear and understand them.
You can also manage your symptoms of secondary trauma by practicing self-care. Make sure that you get enough sleep each night and eat a balanced diet during the day. It would help if you also tried to exercise regularly, practicing activities such as meditation or yoga, all of which can reduce your general stress.
It would be best if you also were sure to take time away from the stressful or traumatic situation from time to time. Spend that time with your friends or family members. Alternatively, you may want to focus on a hobby or project to help take your mind off of your situation.
Secondary trauma can go beyond the typical stress of your job or life situation. A treatment specialist or mental health treatment specialist can help you cope with your symptoms and heal.
Reach Out to Crossroads Maine
Many people with secondary trauma turn to drugs and alcohol, which can quickly lead to an addiction. At Crossroads Maine, we want to help you overcome your secondary trauma and addiction. Our team can address a range of addictions, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Benzo addiction treatment