Mental Health Moment: Secondary Trauma

mental health moment self-care trauma May 16, 2022

Topic: Secondary Trauma – How to Take Care of Yourself

Considering all the things that have been happening in the world - shootings, fires, racism, etc. These are a few ways to take care of yourself during these times.


Hello, hello, hello. I think we are live. We've been having some technical difficulties but hopefully we are good. Hello, hello. Hello everyone. Good evening. Welcome. It is Monday, May 16. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. My name is Chante Meadows, owner and founder of Meadows Counseling Group where we provide individual couples and family therapy. In addition to speaking engagements on mental health, a variety of clinical trainings, check us out at www.Meadowsllc.com. That's www.Meadowsllc.com. And once again, my name is Chante Meadows, thank you for joining us this evening and watching this if you watch it later, I will not be before you long.

This is a part of our Monday mental health awareness month, our Monday mental health moment. So just coming for a couple of minutes on Mondays to kind of give you some information about mental health in different capacities. Today's topic is going to be on secondary trauma. In light of all the things that have been going on in the world, I felt that to give you some information on what kind of is secondary trauma, as well as some ways to hopefully help you cope and get through this time. If you haven't had a chance, check out the other Monday interviews, we have insurance and then talking about the different terminology. And today we're gonna go a little on the diagnosis side. Rather its actual clinical, because you have clinical or kind of just what's going on the world. I was trying to think about what topic to do. And I felt like secondary trauma fit because of everything that has happened over the last 24 to 48 hours. And just truthfully everything that has happened just this year still, for it to be made. There's a lot of trauma. secondary trauma is a a traumatic event situation encounter, that did not necessarily happen to you directly. But it is something that you possibly saw you hear about. And so you can have all the same symptoms reactions as if the trauma happened. secondary trauma is very common in we know of like our first responders, our police officer firefighters, they're also it's also very common in our teachers, our social workers, or nurses or doctors, those in the helping profession.

And it's once again, it's not something that they directly are experienced or you are experiencing, but it is something you've seen. And I want to bring this term secondary trauma because lately a lot of people have been watching a lot of news. Every time breaking news happens in the world, you get a notification on your phone or an email, or during a computer. You're constantly inundated when something changes. And we have had fires we have on the break of possible war, we have shootings, and I thought you know what, let's talk about secondary trauma because of these shootings. And in addition to secondary trauma, there's sometimes also a term called race based trauma. And race based trauma is also sometimes similar secondary trauma in that it is usually right. Um, it's discrimination biases. And it's also once again experiencing that trauma. And I feel like the things that have been happening in the world have a very race based trauma as well as secondary trauma. And so I want to talk about what does that mean, that can look like depression, it can look like anxiety, it can look like irritability, easily frustrated, it can look like so when you experience secondary trauma, or race based trauma, it has a very similar look as trauma, even though it did not directly happen. So watching the news a lot, being on face, being on Facebook, or different social media sites where you're reading and hearing about all the things that's constantly breaking down, or let's say potentially, you've been through a fire or situation before and so you're not in the fire now, but you're also hearing about it. That's that post traumatic stress. So that's can be or you've been in situations with shootings or things like that. There's just so many things happening in the world that is triggering our own trauma.

And so I just wanted to talk about what does that look like that can look like sleep ain't just difficulty falling asleep different filthy staying asleep, that because you're thinking about it, or you're just worried or just that constant state feeling overwhelmed, feeling irritable, agitated, not really able to focus on things, things of that nature. And unfortunately, we've been exposed to so much, it's been a lot to take in. And I feel like we're probably taking in too much. So we know there's a lot of trauma. And so I strongly encourage you, if you are right now, who is someone who is experiencing secondary trauma, because of your job, or because of the things that are happening in the world and you're constantly like, we want to be informed, we want to know what's happening. But those notifications can be too much. They can the constantly breaking news of what's happening in the world or what's happening in your city, it can be too much, it can be overwhelming, and it's hard for us to emotionally digest all that, like I said, so we have those trauma responses.

So I encourage you look at what trauma responses, like I said, that means it that mood swing that irritability, sometimes depression, depression, that anxiety, the sadness, the overwhelmed feeling, not being able to focus, they can very much come up. So no, you do not have to be the person experiencing these things. You don't even have to know the people that's on the news that's experiencing things. But the fact that you are taking this all in can be a lot. So one of the first things these are just some ways to cope to get through these difficult times.

First of all, if you are experiencing secondary trauma on your job, these are still things but one of the biggest things is creating boundaries. So if you're getting secondary trauma, create boundaries. And that means sometimes when you leave work, you have to find a way to leave work at work. You have to find a way to separate create boundaries. You want to find a way to create boundaries with people in your life. That may mean saying no to something saying no to some people, because you need to find ways to take care of yourself during this time. That taking a break may mean cutting off social media. That may mean no tick tock they may mean no Facebook, no Instagram, none of those things. Because you need a break from not taking in. Yes, the new CNN all those different channels and you're watching the breaking news and notification, take a break. That is too much information. Sometimes there's something called Healthy distractions, find ways that that are healthy good coping skills, something distract your mind so you're not you not necessarily about the trauma, but ways to kind of distract you from it. Check in with people. Let people know how you're doing something simple as honestly. Laugh. It is when we're taking in all this we got to also take in Think about it like this. What goes in sometimes is what comes out. And so if we're taking in all these traumatic events, all these bad things, it can really affect how we feel.

So you know what can we find a way to put some fun in your life right now find a way to laugh something good, find the positive. Whether that's connecting with a friend watching a movie that you laugh hysterically, I find those times and opportunities to laugh so hard you can cry, because that can help distract you as well as not allow the negativity to completely absorb you. Finding ways to exercise Get Active Release, endorphins get moving. So going for a walk into how your sleep if you don't have a sleep routine, think about do I need to sleep routine? Do I need to watch when I'm eating this is not a good time to when you're under stress and that trauma take in the the foods like the sugars and the chocolates and the things that can be careful and watch your consumption of alcohol. You know, sometimes a lot of people use alcohol is like oh, just currently just going to do a quick moment. Might you saw I am currently offline. I hope that it came back. But just finding those creating boundaries in your life.

Ultimately, when it is a trauma, I strongly encourage you to seek out counseling therapy to look into some trauma informed care some trauma treatments. Look at different ways that you can um let's see. Did we lose connection? I hope we didn't but it did say restored. Hopefully we stayed live. But I'm looking at finding a therapist, a counselor someone who specializes in trauma informed care or actual trauma treatment. I specialize in EMDR are a lot of the therapists at metals counseling specialize in EMDR. But there are other methods and modalities out there. But at the end of the day, if it is becoming so overwhelming, to the point that you're having problems beyond just the week or two weeks, but it seems like you know what, or this secondary trauma triggered something more of maybe actual trauma you experienced, so you have PTSD. And right now experiencing secondary trauma is triggering your PTSD, I strongly encourage you to seek a counselor seek a therapist who specializes in trauma informed care, trauma therapy, but right now, there's a lot of things happening in the world. So a lot of us are experiencing secondary trauma, because of all the things that we are taking in.

This is my mental health moment of saying, Take care of yourself, you have to find ways to protect your peace, you have to find ways to take care of your mental health. So find ways to disconnect from all these things that are causing you stress. And that may mean even some people right now, unfollow some people who are constantly like trying to keep you informed. I appreciate that. But you know what, that might be too much for me to take in right now. So right now, we're gonna put that boundary in place. But just being mindful of how do you protect your peace? How do you take care of yourself.

So whatever your self care plan, whatever your good healthy coping skills are, exercise, journaling, music, what those outlets are, fine. And honestly, let's find some ways to last some ways, look for the positivity, if you need to do affirmations. look at ways to think of what am I grateful for, but just really tap into that positivity. But I can't express enough make sure you put those boundaries in place. And that may mean boundary from people social media, and at work for those who have secondary trauma on their job, put those boundaries in place. And once again, I strongly encourage you to seek out counseling. If you find that this is going beyond like a week or two weeks, really find a counselor. There's several different ways to find a counselor and go back to the other videos on how to find as well as insurance. Well, I said I don't come on here long. I don't want to hold you long.

This was your Monday mental health moment. My name is Chante Meadows. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Please, please, please, all things that are happening in the world. Please take some time to take care of yourself. And I will see you next Monday for our Monday mental health moment. Take care.

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