For those of us who have experienced trauma in our lives, Christmas can be a difficult time. If you have a friend or loved one who has recently, or not so recently, been affected by a traumatic event, it is helpful to understand what they may be going through and to know how you can help them and those around them enjoy the ‘silly season’.
Trauma can lead to mental health issues, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety. Common experiences of these issues include:
The festivities and busyness of the festive season can be especially challenging, bringing feelings of isolation, stress and an inability to cope with the demands or expectations of the season. With the New Year looming, the person may also reflect on the past and the trauma they have experienced and find it difficult to feel hopeful about the future.
Looking after yourself and your wellbeing can go a long way to ensuring that this time of year is enjoyable and not too stressful. Try these simple but effective ideas:
If you would like more information about the effects of trauma, and ideas for supporting your loved ones, and yourself, take a look at our recovery resources. For immediate assistance call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24-hour counselling and referrals.
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