SDP 012 NAVIGATING SURVIVORS GUILT | How to process and move on after a traumatic death.


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#survivorsguilt #tamaticdeath #mentalhealth
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o Have you ever survived an event when others didn’t?
o How did this affect you moving on and recovering from the event?
o Did you ever get through it, or are you still just trying to cope with it?
Although not everyone experiences survivors guilt a study in the UK determined that up to 90 percent of people that experience death as the result of a traumatic event also experience some level of survivor’s guilt even if it is only for a short time.
When people survive an event where others died, feeling of guilt fall into three categories.
o Why were they allowed to live when others died? Why was I spared…?
o What actions did they take during the event? What did I do…?
o What actions should they have taken during the event?
o What did I not do?
o What should I have done?
People with survivors’ guilt can also show many of the other symptoms that are traditionally associated with PTSD like;
o Flashbacks of the event
o Nightmares and exaggerated dreams
o Depression and anxiety
o Suicide or suicide attempts
o Hyper vigilance
o Irritability and changes in attitude
o Trust issues with event related people, places, and things
o Self-medication and substance abuse
Survivors guilt occurs in people that have experienced traumatic events but not everyone who experiences these events with suffer from this condition. There are a variety of factors that make one person more susceptible than another. These existing conditions also affect:
o How sever the feeling of guilt is
o How long that guilt persists
Some of the things that increase a person’s risk of experiencing guilt after surviving a traumatic event are:
o A history of trauma, such as childhood abuse or really any abuse
o Having other mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression
o A family history of psychiatric problems (possibly a chemical imbalance)
o Lack of a healthy support network of friends and family or groups
o Alcohol or drug use and abuse
Other research suggests that survivors can hold false beliefs about their role in an event, which can lead to feelings of guilt. These beliefs can include exaggerated or distorted ideas and memories about the event and circumstances leading up to the event.
o Your ability to predict or prevent an outcome “I should have known…”
o Your role in causing negative outcomes “I should have done…”
o Wrongdoing or incompetence on your part “I am toxic”, “It’s all my fault”
These are amplified by the feeling of unfinished business with the causality before the event.
o I should have said or done…
o We were planning on doing…
So if you are suffering from Survivors’ guilt how the fuck do you deal with it? WELL!
o Recognize that it is a natural response to this type of trauma
o Accept and allow the feelings to happen and talk about them
o Connect with others, join a support group
o Understand that it is OK to be happy again
o Moving on is NOT being disloyal to their memory
o Live your best life to honor their memory
o Use mindfulness techniques SDP 006
o Practice self-care
o Get enough sleep
o Eat a proper diet
o Exercise regularly

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