Mental health is a big wound when it comes to migrating from one country to another.

Mental health is a big wound when it comes to migrating from one country to another.


Mental health for immigrants Trauma is a wound of the mind

Hi! I am a doctor and psychotherapist Valentina Oroza. In this article, I will explain what psychological trauma is, what kind of symptoms it causes, and how trauma can be treated.

Psychological trauma is born when a person experiences shocking events that cause too much strain on their resistance. Many refugees have experienced e.g., war, violence, or sudden losses. These kinds of experiences may cause trauma.

One carries trauma constantly with them, even if the unhappy events of the past are already over. The good news is that one can get help to treat trauma. When trauma is identified and the things that weigh on one’s mind are addressed, an adverse experience may be transformed into a source of strength.

Sense of insecurity Trauma affects the sense of security. When one has experienced something shocking, a sense of security diminishes or disappears. Even when a person knows that they are safe, they do not feel safe.

The mind and body of a person who has experienced trauma remain in a state of alert. In a way, in trauma, the mind and body are convinced that the distressing situation is still going on. Therefore, a person is constantly ready to react to threatening and dangerous situations, even if everything is fine.

They can be on their guard and agitated. On the other hand, trauma is also such a big burden, that a person can feel stupified and numb. In other words, a person may alternately feel more and less vigorous. Fear and avoidance

Trauma causes fear. A person may fear other people, the future, or even the whole world. Many things can remind them of the events and cause hard feelings.

On those occasions, people tend to avoid everything that reminds them of the trauma. This is understandable, but at the same time, the person’s world will become narrower.

This also makes the good things and emotions fade away from one’s life. Sleeping problems and nightmares A common symptom related to trauma is the difficulty to fall asleep and stay asleep.

A person can have many nightmares, scary dreams. A nightmare can be so scary that one wakes up to it. The heart may thump, and feelings of panic or fear may occur. If you wake up to a nightmare, the most important thing to do is to focus on calming yourself down.

Tell yourself where you are at this precise moment. You are safe. Relax, breathe, and remain in the present. The nightmare is a part of the past, not the present. Flashbacks sometimes difficult and painful memories force their way into the mind, even against one’s will. Memories of a shocking event may then feel very much alive.

A person may even momentarily forget where they are. This type of experience is called a flashback. If you experience a flashback, it is important to concentrate on returning your mind to the present time.

You can stamp your feet to the floor, tap your arms with your hands, or eat something cold, sour, or spicy. Our own senses bring us back to the present. Remember that the distressing event is in the past.
You are safe now.

Post-traumatic care Experiencing violence damages the relationship and confidence in all people, including those close to us. It may feel difficult to trust anyone. The ability to feel safe among other people is nevertheless very important for our mental health.

Therefore, to recover from trauma, other people are needed. Trauma is treated through therapeutic conversations with a mental healthcare professional. In the meetings, a person will talk about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings.

Talking about difficult matters with another person builds safety and trust. The support and safety provided by a professional allow a person to go through even strong feelings and shocking events. By going through difficult events, a person will slowly be freed from the burden of thoughts and emotions.

Body and mind will come to understand that the dreadful experience is over. Body and mind will cease to be on high alert.

Remembering a shocking event will no longer cause strong emotions. Dreams become more peaceful. People feel better, and life easier. Also, trust in other people will return.

This way the past loses its grip on the person’s mind, body – and heart. Recovery and continuation of life A trauma is like a wound in the mind. In the beginning, the wound hurts and is constantly on one’s mind. The wound heals when treated.

A scar remains, but it will fade over time, and it is not always even noticed. If you recognize symptoms of trauma in yourself, remember that they are a normal reaction to a shocking event. Do seek support if you suspect you are suffering from trauma.

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