Trauma: How to Heal from Trauma and Feel Safe in the World is an empowering mental health mini zine that gives a basic overview of trauma and available therapies. This is a great booklet for people living with depression, mental illness, or PTSD wanting to learn tools for self love and mental wellness.
Available for purchase on our Etsy Shop or read for free below. If you'd rather read the transcribed text, scroll to the bottom of this post.
The One Minute Happiness series is a growing collection of mini zines that explore different topics in coping with anxiety and depression by providing empowering insights into various areas of mental health. They include Happy Healthy Checklist, Happy Healthy Eating, Happy Healthy Habits, Happy Healthy Suffering, Soulular Potential, Forgiveness, Trauma, and Your Highest Form. Read them all for free on our Etsy Shop.
Transcribed text from Trauma - How to Heal from Trauma and Feel Safe in the World
In many people, coping with depression and building a fulfilling life involves recovering from trauma. Trauma is caused by mildly to substantially stressful events embedding a pattern of fear, anxiety, and depressed emotions on a person when exposed to stimuli (triggers) related to the initial event. Without proper support, these patterns can consume our well-being, relationships, career goals, and happiness for life.
You can learn more about alternative mental health and the science of happiness at www.sageliskey.com
Please note that while the information contained herein is researched and has worked for me, I am not a medical professional and none of this is meant to be medical advice. As such I do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented and disclaim liability for errors and omissions.
The front cover is a digital collage created by Sage Liskey.
Causes and Symptoms of Trauma
Anyone can be traumatized, and it is most common in military personnel, victims of physical, mental, and sexual abuse, and survivors of severe injuries and car crashes. Breakups and the loss of loved ones can also result in trauma. These events form a trigger in which any stimuli that reminds the brain of previous trauma causes the flight or fight response to activate, creating an immediate sensation of danger, even in completely safe environments. Symptoms include depressed feelings, flashbacks, rapid changes in mood, nightmares, memory and sleeping problems, various psychological disorders, and avoiding any stimuli (triggers) similar to a stressful event including sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and lighting.
Trauma is completely treatable but therapy is often necessary in order to help guide the brain away from irrational thoughts and provide tools for the traumatized to work with. Some trauma therapy slowly reintroduces trauma triggers in a safe environment where the mind can acclimate to knowing those stimuli are in fact normal and safe. A person may be able to go through this process themselves by engaging in visualization practices (lucid dreaming can work too), using virtual reality, watching videos, or otherwise slowly reintroducing a stimuli. If you cannot afford a therapist, there are a number of free online communities to help, books such as Complex PTSD by Pete Walker, and affordable group trainings such as Holistic Peer Counseling and Solsara that incorporate methods of trauma healing.
Medications for Trauma
Medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs can be used to relieve the symptoms of PTSD, but typically do not lead to a cure. An exception can be made for certain psychoactive substances. While illegal outside of research settings, studies into psychedelic-assisted therapy, especially with MDMA, has allowed users to complete PTSD treatment much sooner than usual and in some cases find relief when no other methods worked. Note that the dosage, environment, and location are carefully crafted by therapy professionals and differs considerably from recreational use of these substances. You can learn more about the latest research by going to www.maps.org and keep up-to-date about legalization efforts.
There are a variety of trauma therapies that may be utilized to help stop symptoms and allow clients to resume a normal life. Not everyone reacts the same and some therapists are bad, so try several. Typically therapists will utilize a combination of these techniques. Here are a few of them:
Exposure Therapy: Exposes a person to stimuli related to their trauma, slowly convincing the mind that the trigger is safe.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Uses a combination of tactics, including exposure therapy and fixing distorted beliefs by teaching people ways of replacing negative or incorrect thoughts with objective reasoning – “all dogs are bad” vs. “some dogs hurt people out of fear, and I can learn how to avoid that.”
Trauma Therapy, Continued
Somatic Experiencing (SE): This type of therapy is based on the idea that trauma is energy that got trapped during a stressful event in particular body areas. SE explores an individual's present and past emotional states surrounding a traumatic experience and finds ways of helping them express that emotion in such a way that it is released. This can take the form of yelling, crying, dancing, or any directed energetic outburst after exposing the traumatic memory.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Part of this surprisingly effective treatment simply has the patient follow a moving object with their eyes while vocally remembering details of their traumatic experience.
My name is Sage Liskey. I am an author, poet, fine artist, designer, and activist. Born and raised in Oregon, I now travel while I write and self-publish empowering books, zines, and booklets. I founded the Rad Cat Press in 2010 to help distribute my materials with a mission devoted to creating life-changing and accessible publications for the modern world. My informational guidebooks (many of which are available for free) cover topics such as alternative and radical mental health, depression, community, sustainability, art, and activism. I offer talks on these subjects as well.
My Books and Zines
July 15th, 2018
How To Effectively Change the World workshop at OCF
Oregon Country Fair, Community Village, Yurt