Trauma is the shock and pain we go through after an extremely distressing event. The recent Kenyatta National Hospital rape claim by the nursing mum which sparked social media uproar is one similar event. The feelings that come about due to undergoing such an event can lead to extreme behavior. This may include having flashbacks, nightmares, and feelings of intense helplessness. When these behaviors go on for a long time they are then considered as a case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These are cases that cause outrage and anger among the friends and families of the victims. However, many at times we don’t know how we should handle a patient who may have undergone such a scenario. What can we do to help patients who have undergone traumatic events? Here are some basic tips on how you can help someone who has gone through such:
- Harmless Environment
Undergoing trauma causes one to undergo a lot of insecurity which leads to them having a lot of discomfort. The best step is making them feel secure and in an environment where they are with people, they trust. The KNH victims having undergone such an event may need to be with their families and closest friends. Having strangers in the house may lead to flashbacks which may then lead to stress and slow the healing of the process.
A traumatic victim should also be encouraged to release the tense. This means that family members and friends should give comfort in a way that they can get the feeling that they are safe now. Most victims tend to have a lot of trust issues and are unable to let go and be free around people. Having them remember fun memories is a great way to help them recover from the event
- Dieting and Nutrition
Another very important factor is about their health, most of the time we find the victims not having an appetite or not wanting to eat. This is a major contributor to them not feeling well and becoming weaker meaning their body becomes weak and since they are taking medicine this can prevent the drugs from being effective. Instead they become reactive to the drugs and cannot be able to fight back the traumatic event and the effects that dawned on them due to it.
- Physical Exercising
Encouraging them to go out and exercise maybe also do it by joining them. This is highly resisted due to the nature of the event they may have engaged in may not make them want to go outside. An example is an event such as kidnapping which may make them to only feel secure when they are inside the house. However, having them go outside and taking part in a family exercise such as deep breathing, a short run and stretching is effective to helping the patient recover faster.
This is the most important part of the healing process. This is because when the victim is in shock he /she may lack or resist the will to sleep. It’s advised to have them in a quiet and darkened room which poses a good environment where they can eventually sleep and allow the body muscles to rest
- Pacing too fast
Trauma victims are always different, some may choose to quickly put the event behind them and get back to work. This is always them trying to look for a distraction and avoiding the healing process. It’s important to help them face the truth about realities of the event, this helps in the recovery process.
- Listening and talking
It’s also very important to talk about the event, having a trusted friend or family is important to help the victim be able to release emotions. Support them by not being judgmental and assuring them that they deserve to feel the emotions they are undergoing. This helps them feel comfortable and be able to talk about what they feel and be listened to. Also talking about similar personal incidences are effective to help end the feeling of being misfortune and unlucky.
Having assurance that all is well is also important. This however maybe resisted due to the victims having lost hope and may not want to hear it. However constantly reminding them of how strong they are and that they can beat this eventually gets to them and they regain the confidence to move on.
- Connecting with others
Being able to connect to people who have gone through similar events is good as they are able to feel they are with the right people who understand their situation. This gives them some measure of comfort on seeing that people have survived this and so can they.
10.Prayer and Meditation
Spiritual nourishment of the patient are very important in that they help the victim to have something to believe in again. Joining a mass or a support group within the church and praying together also helps to give hope and having a way to recover and have faith in getting better.
Traumatic events always leave drastic effects, sometimes as painful as death and even much worse on the victims who are lucky to survive them. Some are an error of judgement while others we just did not have control over. However as much as we lose, we cannot afford to lose hope even when we go through post trauma events, we should always be there for one another to overcome the effects and not let them overcome us.
As much as we hope that life will be smooth, trauma can unfortunately affect any one of us. Therefore, Indepth Research Services has organized a 5-day training course on Trauma Support and Counseling to be held on 19th-23rd March 2018, Nairobi Kenya. The training will focus on concepts of First Aid, the principles of trauma recovery sessions, and effective treatments for people suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and will allow you to gain knowledge and the tools in managing such life situations.
By: Kennedy Kinyanjui
Digital Marketer: Indepth Research Services