What is collective trauma and how to deal with it?


Have you ever yelled at the household unnecessarily when you got home after someone got on your nerves in traffic? Or when you get mad at your spouse and raise your voice at your kids, get mad at your boss and clash with a colleague? Yes? You are not alone, unfortunately many of us tend to take our anger out on someone else when we can’t reach or open up to the root cause of our anger. Moreover, this situation is not only contrary to what someone is doing or saying; larger events, negative social events or disasters, catastrophes, natural disasters, for example, in many situations over which we have no control. When we get angry about something we hear on the news and leave the house, we may walk by without saying hello to our neighbors, or we may display a grumpy, irritable attitude at work.

Unfortunately, we faced a similar situation after the great catastrophe we experienced, that is, after the earthquake, in which we suffered many losses. We can try to bring our anger, sadness, anger, anger out of other places, from inappropriate platforms. Imagine; How many times have you come across hate comments under agenda related posts you’ve come across on social media lately? Could it be much more than a few months ago? Probably yes … Because most people ignore the feelings and thoughts of another person, reacting to negative events and destructive experiences –especially if he has an opposite opinion on any issue.– … And what is the result? Unhealthy and destructive communication, toxic relationships, heartbreak, growing anger, growing trauma and declining mental health…

What is collective trauma?

This complex process we are going through has harmed not only us personally, but also socially. -and it still hurts.- Because, unfortunately, we are all in a collective trauma. Aggressive attitudes, sullen attitudes, tense conversations, broken relationships on these social media accounts, in short, the reason we are like a bomb ready to go off at any moment is the collective trauma we are going through.

In its most basic definition, collective trauma is a situation resulting from stressful and traumatic reactions experienced by a society after events such as natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, intercommunal violence, sexual violence, mass deaths, and other major disasters. Since collective trauma is a trauma that affects the entire society, it can be more difficult to deal with and control than individual trauma. This can create a widespread sense of fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger and sadness in society. The process of overcoming such events can take longer than individual traumas and can leave deep wounds in society. It is necessary to ensure the restructuring of society and the strengthening of social ties, and this can take a long time.

Consequences of collective trauma

Although collective trauma has the same impact as individual trauma, it extends to a wider audience and forces the entire society to face similar negative consequences. In addition to psychological and emotional disorders such as stress, anxiety, anxiety, fear, unhappiness, hopelessness, helplessness, anger, anger, collective trauma:

  • Contempt,
  • environment of uncertainty
  • feeding on hostility
  • existential crisis,
  • generation conflicts,
  • disrupted social relationships
  • Increasing cases of crime and violence,
  • Physical, verbal, or cyberbullying
  • It can also cause a wider range of negative consequences such as economic hardship. These effects may vary depending on the characteristics, severity and duration of the collective injury.

Therefore, while we experience many negative emotions, situations, and events both individually and in society, our daily lives may be interrupted and our social well-being may suffer. The biggest indicator of this collective trauma is the fact that we share the social pain as well as individual sadness for the devastation we have experienced and the losses that come with it.

So what are we going to do? How will we be healed, how will we recover, how will we control our sadness and anger? Can we as a society overcome our pain? If we believe, change and work hard, then yes! We can heal both our personal and social wounds, restore broken order and trust, strengthen our relationships, and try to erase the traces of trauma.

Can collective trauma be healed?

First of all, we must not forget that social healing requires individual healing. There is no doubt that everyone needs a lot of time when we consider the severity, scope and scope of the events that cause collective trauma. Yes, it will take time for us to fully heal, but by taking care of ourselves first and then of each other, we can release our inner strength and overcome collective trauma … Well, what can we do?

  • Suppressing emotions and ignoring what is happening is not an option. We must figure out what we need by taking care of our personal experiences and take care of protecting our mental health by following the agenda.
  • We must look back at our inner world and take care of our tormented souls and frustrated nerves. Relaxing, stress-reducing and well-being practices such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness and breathing exercises should take their place in our lives.
  • If we want to take care of our society, we must first take care of ourselves.
  • He should try to stay away from Doomscrolling as much as possible. In order to protect our holistic health, we need to stay up to date without getting swept up in negative news.
  • We must lend a helping hand, do everything in our power, everything in our power. We must hold on to the power of cooperation, cooperation, exchange, unity and unity, instead of using aggressive views or words towards each other.
  • We must never forget the importance of respect and must always approach matters with empathy, understanding and tolerance. We must remember that the other person has also gone through a difficult experience and is likely to share the same negative feelings, and we must act accordingly when we speak, write, or argue.
  • We must keep our reactions under control and not take out our anger on those who are not responsible for the negativity.
  • We must not forget that we are not alone, but it will be easier to overcome difficult times if we join hands. If our individual efforts, social networks around us, or cooperation efforts are not enough, we must remember that getting professional support is an effective and beneficial solution, and we must remind those who need it.

Facing the trauma we experience as a society and trying to erase its effects can be debilitating. Only if we can properly manage our reactions, walk hand in hand, supporting each other, and remembering that the individual needs the society, the society needs the individual and that healing works on both sides at the same time, can we overcome this collective trauma that we experience. .

You may be wondering: How can we focus on difficult moments such as social trauma, loss, and grief?

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