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Working Through Trauma? 5 Reasons to Talk About Your Struggle

Crop unrecognizable female psychologist and patient discussing mental problems during session If you’re on the fence about talking about your struggle to others, here are 5 reasons to consider taking control of your life back and sharing your experience.

What do you do with your feelings after you go through something challenging? If you’re like most people, you push it aside and try to move forward and forget it happened. But when you’re dealing with something as emotionally profound as trauma, this strategy could leave you with significant internal scars that become long-term mental health issues.

Because trauma is always unique to the individual, it can be difficult to talk about what you’re feeling with others. You think they won’t understand or that they’d think less of you. Worse, you’re embarrassed or don’t want to rehash the details. But talking through your feelings with a professional can help you work through them and come out the other side healthier.

Treatment for mental health issues has become the norm in today’s society. Yet many people still struggle with the perceived stigma behind accepting that they may be one of the millions of people with a diagnosed mental health disorder. If you’re on the fence about talking about your struggle to others, here are 5 reasons to consider taking control of your life back and sharing your experience.

1. You’ll Find More People Understand Than You Think

Although what you’ve gone through is significant and unique to you, when you begin to share it, you learn you’re not as alone as you thought. Sadly, trauma of all kinds happens to most of us, but you may never know that the person next to you in line at the grocery store went through something similar to you.

The fact is that everyone you talk to likely has something in their past that would shock you. When you share your trauma experience, one common consequence is that others open up to you. This creates a bond that helps you realize you’re not broken. There’s nothing “wrong” with you because of what you went through. You just need to heal, which is a natural byproduct of talking about your emotions.

As isolating as trauma is, when you come together with at least one other person, you rebuild a community of support.

2. You’ll Work Through the Confusion

While you were dealing with your traumatic event, there was a part of your brain that was confused. What was happening and why?

Trauma is messy, and it is never something that was “supposed” to happen to a “normal” person. You need to work through it all to process it and categorize each step in a way that your brain can understand.

While it’s replaying over and over in your mind, it continues to grow into something scary and larger than life. But when you can put it into words and shelve it into a category, it becomes easier to handle in the future.

3. You’ll Understand Yourself Better

Regardless of how hard you try to avoid it, the experiences you go through will shape your present and future. This is particularly true with a traumatic event. Something as common as a car accident can turn someone who was once a regular road tripper into a person who is terrified to get in a vehicle.

Whether the event was far in the past or more recent, there are effects that manifest in your choices and actions that you may not recognize. Through talk therapy, you can understand why you do what you do and think what you think more effectively.

4. You’ll Move Past the Event

While you’ll never forget what you went through, therapy can help you understand its role in your life and move beyond it. It may have been a changing point, but it doesn’t have to define your identity.

Your life is so much more than one experience, no matter how shattering it was. As you talk it out, you can begin to process what happened, blend it into your present self, and decide what you want your future to look like. Once you choose to move away from a trauma identity, your therapist can help you take steps to reach your new goals.

5. You’ll Discern Truth Better

Right now, you probably have a hard time determining what’s safe and what’s dangerous. You think that what you went through was either your fault or because the world is a terrifying place. There really is an in-between, though.

Most of the world is not out to get you. You are not a bad person because of your trauma. If you tell others what happened and they choose to judge you harshly, that’s a “them” issue, not a “you” problem.

Through therapy, you can work through your trauma, share things you may have never said aloud before, and take something massive and shape it into something more manageable. From there, you’ll recognize that you can return to your life, using your experience to move forward as someone who overcame a traumatic experience and is now living their best life.

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