Over the past 30 years a variety of words have become popular to describe grief. One word that has recently made headlines is the word “trauma”. Language is important, so we’re going to clarify our take on the word.
Trauma is an event. It can be any event that causes psychological, physical, emotional or mental harm; such as a death or abuse. A traumatic event could also be called a loss event. If someone dies, that’s a loss. If someone was abused, that too is a loss. A loss of trust. Whether you want to call the event trauma or a loss is ok, but the result of a traumatic event is GRIEF.
Grief is the normal and natural response to loss. It’s the conflicting emotions that result in the end of, or change in, a familiar pattern or behavior. Grief is the feeling of wishing things would have ended different, better, or more. Grief is the normal and natural feelings after a trauma.
Although no two people grieve the same, there are some common responses grievers might experience such as an overwhelming sense of numbness, changes in sleeping or eating patterns and wishing things ended differently. Trauma can be an extremely emotional loss event, which ultimately is a grieving experience. If you see your dog get hit by a car, the event could most definitely be described as traumatic. The solution, however, is the same solution a griever would use following any loss. The griever has to get complete with the relationship to the pet that died.
Here are a few examples that are a trauma event in themselves and why they result in feelings of grief:
• Sexual Abuse: According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)--there is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year. That doesn’t include children. It’s a horrifying, devastating and painful thing for anyone to experience. Many people associate assault as being traumatic, but don’t associate it with grief. But if you stop think about it, isn’t it a loss?
• Loss of trust, whether it’s trust from the person who harmed them, or loss of trust in future relationships.
• Loss of control of one's body.
• Loss of safety.
• Suicide: is often shocking for the survivors, but that does not mean you cannot recover. You might miss your friend who died, or wish you could have done something different to save him or her. That’s grief.
It’s harmful to mislabel grief as trauma because it isn’t accurate; trauma and grief are not the same.
1. If you misdiagnose, you mistreat.
2. Trauma turns a griever into a victim. Victims can’t feel better unless someone else takes an action.
3.The Grief Recovery Method® gets to the core of the grief; so the griever can go on to lead a happy and healthy life.
The Grief Recovery Method® has helped grievers who have suffered from every type of loss and painful event imaginable from seeing a suicide, sexual abuse and any of the other 40+ types of loss.
If you found this article usefuly, you may also consider reading PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder