12 Silent Triggers of Complicated Grief and PTSD
12 Silent Triggers of Complicated Grief and PTSD
Traumatic events happen to everyone at some point in their lives. This could be the loss of a loved one, being the victim of a violent assault, or experiencing hardship during military deployment.
It’s important to understand how both complicated grief disorder and PTSD are different, but also how they overlap. One thing both grief and trauma have in common is their initial triggers.
Triggers can mean anything that may spark a memory or thought of a past traumatic experience. Some triggers are very common and obvious, others are much less clear and can be challenging to avoid.
Living with trauma and grief is difficult and can be a constant battle. Understanding the initial triggers that can lead to complicated grief and PTSD symptoms can significantly help you to avoid and reduce episodes of distress and panic.
Complicated grief and PTSD symptoms
Complicated grief and PTSD symptoms can be similar, but there are some differences. Below are the common symptoms associated with both.
What are the main trauma signs and symptoms?
Usually, PTSD symptoms are diagnosed one month after the traumatic event has taken place. Before this, the symptoms listed below are often completely typical and expected after experiencing a traumatic event.
The problem with PTSD symptoms is that they can sometimes take several months or even years to appear following the traumatic event. For example, a person abused as a child may not experience PTSD symptoms until much later in their adult life.
There are three main types of symptoms associated with this disorder:
12 Silent Triggers That Can Impact Trauma and Grief
Below are twelve common triggers that can impact trauma or grief, leading to PTSD or Complicated Grief.
What is Collateral Damage in general?
Collateral damage is a common consequence during military operations. Many soldiers suffer significant trauma and loss as a result. Losing a soldier on the battlefield is often expected. But, when a soldier loses his life as part of an unintended consequence of an operation, the loss can be much harder to deal with for his comrades.
But, collateral damage is not unique to soldiers. Every day, people can also experience collateral damage. People who severely injure, paralyze, or kill others by accident through traffic incidents are prime examples. Living with the guilt of impacting someone else’s life or their families can create symptoms of complicated grief and PTSD.
What is getting stuck?
Getting stuck in trauma and grief is when your experience of the above triggers simply won’t’ allow you to move on. Getting stuck in trauma or grief is to not be able to continue with your life properly.
The experiences above are typical and may occur from time to time, bringing symptoms of grief and PTSD once again. But when those symptoms subside, you may be stuck in grief or PTSD.
There are some common signs you may be stuck in your trauma:
Solutions and Treatments for Complicated Grief and PTSD
There are several treatments and solutions to help with both complicated grief and PTSD.
The primary form of care for those suffering from complicated grief or PTSD is professional counseling, also known as therapy.
Counseling can be offered by anyone, but therapy typically refers to the professional counsel of a psychotherapist or “talk therapist.”
Therapy is a source of invaluable confidential, empathetic support from someone who is specially trained to help people with issues like complicated grief and PTSD.
Therapists help their patients to identify and overcome the critical issues perpetuating their complicated grief and PTSD, including:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is typically a 12-week course of weekly sessions that last around 60-90 minutes.
The sessions and programs are designed to help you work through your issues in a specific method that has helped millions overcome their grief and PTSD.
First, you will speak to a therapist about your symptoms and your thoughts about the traumatic event. Next, you will write down a lot of detail about what happened in the traumatic experience.
This helps you process what happened a little clearer and may give you some insights on how you’re feeling now. You may realize you’re unfairly blaming yourself for something out of your control and that deep down, you’re not guilty of anything.
Complicated Grief Therapy
This therapy is specific to those who are suffering from complicated grief. Complicated Grief Therapy (CGT) is a manual-based therapeutic method that specifically helps those who are experiencing long-term and prolonged complicated grief.
Using the following techniques, CGT can help a person gradually overcome their grief:
Instead of avoiding anything that reminds the individual of their loss, CGT guides the person through bereavement cues and helps them face the emotions they are actively avoiding.
CGT has been studied, and evidence suggests that this type of treatment is most useful for those with complicated grief.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
This type of therapy is similar to CGT above because it makes you confront any feelings or situations that you are actively avoiding. It typically includes 15 sessions that are 90 minutes each.
You will learn breathing techniques that assist with your anxiety, and you will also write down a lot of the memories you have about the traumatic event.
The therapist will guide you through your painful emotions and symptoms over the 12 sessions.
How can joining the Guards Down tribe help you?
Joining the Guards Down tribe will give you access to a safe space where you can discuss your trauma or grief with others who care and are willing to listen. You can also connect with people who are knowledgeable about dealing with the same issues but familiar with the experience you’ve had, as they’ve been through it. Guards down help people redefine the terms “getting stuck” and “collateral damage” to identify when they are making progress.
With Guards Down by your side, you can find others who have experienced similar events and are dealing with their own trauma and complicated grief disorder. Speaking about your experiences in an open and safe space is one of the most effective ways to deal with your suffering. There is no judgment, only acceptance and honest conversation with similar people who all want to help each other heal.