When trauma survivors take direct action to cope with their stress reactions, they put themselves in a position of power. Active coping with the trauma makes you feel less helpless.

  • Active coping means accepting the impact of trauma on your life and taking direct action to improve things.
  • Active coping occurs even when there is no crisis. Active coping is a way of responding to everyday life. It is a habit that must be made stronger.

Know that recovery is a process

Following exposure to a trauma most people experience stress reactions. Understand that recovering from the trauma is a process and takes time. Knowing this will help you feel more in control.

  • Having an ongoing response to the trauma is normal.
  • Recovery is an ongoing, daily process. It happens little by little. It is not a matter of being cured all of a sudden.
  • Healing doesn’t mean forgetting traumatic events. It doesn’t mean you will have no pain or bad feelings when thinking about them.
  • Healing may mean fewer symptoms and symptoms that bother you less.
  • Healing means confidence that you will be able to cope with your memories and symptoms. You will be better able to manage your feelings.

From the National Center for PTSD, US Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp