How should we treat a person who has had a traumatic experience?


The great and devastating earthquake that hit our country and affected 10 of our cities deeply hurt all of us. This pain is shared by many of us who have experienced the effects of secondary trauma, as well as by those who have experienced primary trauma. Many other reasons came into play, such as the magnitude of the intensity of the earthquake, the size of the affected area and losses due to adverse weather conditions, the complexity of the rescue operation, the sudden change in the current order, and the uncertainty of the next process. throughout the country, especially residents of seismic zones. The situation, especially from the point of view of those affected by the earthquake and our country, is in the nature of a “mass trauma”. Mass injuries are not limited to the injured person; it is described as a type of trauma that is indicative of it and is widely spread.

HiDoctor Specialist Clinical Psychologist Esra Chaki points out what should be considered in relation to people who have had a traumatic experience. Pocket knife, “Do not hug at the first meeting, do not ask about your losses. Show them their new habitat and let them rest.” speaks. Mass injury, not just an injured person; HiDoctor specialist clinical psychologist Esra Chaky, who witnessed this and said it could be described as a type of trauma that is widespread, also highlights that the most common post-disaster disorder is post-traumatic stress disorder. Chucky warns those who will shelter the victims of the disaster:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most common disorder that occurs in people who suffer from severe losses after natural disasters. For this reason, the most common cognitive symptoms in humans are; hopelessness, deep sadness, fear, helplessness, anxiety resulting from insecurity, withdrawal, guilt, sudden mood swings, reliving (perceiving that the traumatic event is happening again), nightmares, trouble concentrating, trying to save memory in the mind permanently or get rid of it, etc. can be summarized as Physiological symptoms: increased arousal (alertness, fright), lack of reaction, avoidance of anything that reminds of the traumatic event, etc. in severe cases dissociationvisible.

How should we treat a person who has had a traumatic experience?

  • First of all, from the first meeting with the victim, one should remember the trauma experienced by the person in the whole process, and for this reason, the empathic attitude should always be at the forefront in discourse and behavior.
  • In order to accept victims, it is important to greet them sincerely and naturally when meeting them, to avoid hugs and emotional exchanges (maximum handshakes), and to avoid talking about the trauma and loss experienced by people. in the first conversation. This would be a good start to take them to their place of residence without wasting time.
  • After the person/persons enter the house, the rooms assigned to them should be shown, and after the house is presented in general terms, their current needs (food, shower, etc.) should be provided. Given the physical and mental fatigue of people, they should be given the opportunity to rest and recover.
  • In the next step, until people get used to you, home and order (this process will be completed in about 3-4 days), you need to receive them with care and ask their wishes and needs in the appropriate language. Because this stage is a habituation process, people may feel insecure about you. (This is not because you are a bad host, on the contrary, your guest is afraid of being a burden to you.)
  • While the habituation process continues, in the same way, pity and whining should be avoided. Trying to get them to talk, trying to get them to talk about their experience by bringing up the topic even if they didn’t, etc. Although the attitude is formed with good intentions, it is behavior that will make people suffer and increase their suffering and should be followed. avoid. It is necessary to be sympathetic to the usual reactions of individuals to a traumatic event.
  • In the coming days, people will become more accustomed to you and the order in which they live, they will comprehend the tragic event they experienced in their own minds, they will begin to gather a little to mourn their loss and gradually adapt to the current order.
  • At this stage, it is possible that they will begin to share their feelings with you on their own. When they share their painful experiences with you, the grieving process will be accompanied by sadness, tears, rebellion, and sometimes withdrawal. While you are trying to support them and heal their wounds as a sign of goodwill, you may experience some confusion. This is also quite normal, do not be afraid. Sometimes simply listening to that person and accompanying their pain, even with their silence, leads to the perception of “I am understood” and to the well-being of the person. Now you can leave feedback, communicate and share your feelings with them where you see fit.

Showing extreme hospitality increases embarrassment

  • One of the important points in hosting guests is trying to show an extremely hospitable attitude. This will both make you feel inadequate and make your guests refrain from embarrassment. After your guests get used to you and home improvement, you should leave them to themselves a little more, and you should avoid taking on this responsibility when they can provide for their own needs. This behavior will prevent guests from feeling like a burden and embarrassment.
  • You must not forget; Perhaps one of the greatest virtues you can achieve as a human being is to cooperate with those who have lost their family, loved ones, home, home, homeland, and even their dreams as a result of a tragedy that cannot be expressed in words, sharing their pain. and open your home to them. In carrying out such a precious work, the only thing to do is not to wear yourself out and not to force yourself, but to treat the other person sincerely and with understanding.

You may be interested in: Psychological First Aid: How to help your loved ones affected by an earthquake

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