For Family & Friends: How To Talk With Someone Suffering From Trauma

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

How To Talk With Someone Suffering From TraumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS.

For Family & Friends

A SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Insight – Psychology of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them.

Trauma – Helping Family Or Friends Through It!

It can be difficult to know how to help someone you love and care for when they have gone through a distressing or frightening event.

It’s natural to want to make someone you love and care for feel better again, but it’s important to accept what has happened. There is nothing you can say or do to make the person’s pain disappear. That will happen with time, rest, and appropriate support. Explain to them that you are sorry about what they have had to experience and that you are there to help them in any way they need.

Offer Support After A Traumatic Or Distressing Event

It’s always good to ask the person who has experienced a traumatic or distressing event what you can do to support them. Suggestions for supporting a friend or family member include:

  • Make time to be with the person and make it obvious that you are available. Sometimes, there can be a tendency to want to move someone on before they are ready because the traumatic experience makes us feel uncomfortable. Try to avoid doing this. People who have had a traumatic experience can feel very reassured by human contact.
    • Don’t take their feelings to heart. They may be irritable, depressed, angry or frightened. Strong feelings and emotional outbursts are common – try not to take it personally. It is important to recognize that they have had a stressful experience and that their reactions are normal and will subside in time.
    • You can help by reassuring the person that their reactions are normal.
    • Offer practical support. You could do the housework or the grocery shopping for them, or pick up their children from school.
    • Encourage the person to take good care of themselves, for example, by eating well, avoiding alcohol, drugs or stimulants, and by attempting to maintain regular sleeping habits.
    • You may need to let the person have time by themselves.
    • Let them know you are there for them without judging.
    • Suggesting to a person that they maintain regular daily routines and habits can be helpful as well.
  • Talking about the trauma can be important

    Suggestions include:

    • Allow the person to talk about what happened, even if they become upset. Just be calm yourself and listen carefully – getting upset too doesn’t help.
    • Don’t insist on talking if the person doesn’t want to. They may need time to be alone with their thoughts. Tell them you are there to listen whenever they feel ready.
    • Reassure them you care and want to understand as much as possible about what happened to them. They may say you can’t possibly understand what they went through and shut you out. If they take this approach, they risk becoming isolated from their support networks. Be patient and see what else you can do to help.
    • Try to make sure there is someone else they can talk to if they don’t want to talk to you about it.
    • If there are some difficult decisions to be made, talk about the situation with the person and help them to identify the different options. However, don’t make the decision for them. Also, if it is only a short time after the traumatic event, suggest that it might be a good idea to wait a little longer before making a decision.

    What Not To Do Or Say

    Some ways in which it can be unhelpful to respond include:

    • Don’t avoid talking about the event.
    • Don’t think you know how the person should think, feel or behave. Everyone’s response is different.
    • Don’t use general phrases such as ‘look on the bright side’ or ‘look for the silver lining’, but help them think about what they do have.
    • Don’t judge their thoughts or feelings – being accepted helps put things in context.
    • Don’t be impatient or expect them to ‘get over it’ in a certain time. It can take months or longer to recover from an event.
    • Don’t insist they need professional help. Not everyone who experiences a distressing event needs treatment. It will be more effective if they get it when they want it, even if that is later than is ideal.

    Help Them To Relax And Get Involved In Activities

    Relaxation and fun are important recovery tools. Suggestions include:

    • Try to involve the person in physical activity, such as walking or swimming. Exercise burns off stress chemicals, reduces muscle tension, and encourages better sleep.
    • While the person needs to spend some time alone, help them to strike a balance. Socializing – even low-key events such as sitting around with friends – can help to reduce stress levels.
    • Laughter is a wonderful antidote to stress. Find ways to help them to smile or laugh.

    If at any time you are worried about your mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". or the mental health of a loved one, call Lifeline 13 11 14.

    Where To Get Help

    • Your doctor
    • Your local community health center
    • Counselor
    • Psychologist
    • Your local hospital
    • Emergency services
    • Local or National crisis hotline

    Things to remember

    • Find out as much as you can about distress, so you can understand something about what to expect.
    • Allow the person to talk about what happened, even if they become upset.
    • Don’t insist they need professional help – not everyone who experiences a traumatic event needs therapy.

Portions Courtesy of the Government of Victoria Australia

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This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, qualified support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., or completely independent – on your own!

The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.

After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.

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Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!

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The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.

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AN ONLINE SAFETY TOOL FROM SCARS HELPS YOU TO STAY SAFE ONLINE!

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Find Real ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. & Fake Stolen Photos On ScamsONLINE.org
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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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IN MANY SCARS ARTICLES, WE MENTION TOPICS INCLUDING TRAUMA, ABUSE, SELF-HARM, SUICIDALITY, RISKY BEHAVIORBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams., DISORDERS, ADDICTION, AND OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THE INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDERS WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

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