Insights Into Teens: Episode 24 “Coping with Traumatic Stress”

In a very emotional episode today we discuss the challenges of coping with Traumatic Stress. We look at what Traumatic Stress is, some of the common causes of it and how to cope with the physical and psychological effects that Traumatic Events can have on us. During our discussion we analyze some traumatic events that both Madison and Joe experienced, the long term effects it had on us and how even to this day we are still coping with those effects.

Insights Into Teens

Transcript

Speaker 1:
0:02
Insightful podcast by informative hopes, insights into thing, a podcast network.:
Speaker 2:
0:26
.:
Speaker 3:
0:27
Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.:
Speaker 4:
0:51
Welcome to insights in the teens. This is episode 20 for coping with traumatic stress. I’m your host, Joseph Raylynn and my brilliant and delightful cohost, Madison Wayland. Hi everyone. Hi Manny. How are you doing today? Pretty good. So before we get started, or one of the pay homage to a event, we went to last night, what did we, what did we do last night? You went to, um, you on my first, wait, that’s so correct. Grammar, right? We’re not grammar police here. It’s okay. Right? Well, we had our first weird hour concert. Yes, we did. Not Mommy though, because she’s won at least two. At least two. That’s correct. So Mommy was a bit of a veteran. We went to see, we’re out over at the met in Philadelphia and a was a very interesting concert. Yep. And, and I think interesting would be the good way to put it.:
Speaker 4:
1:55
Well he’s not called weird Al for nothing. Sure. So today we’re going to be talking about coping with traumatic stress. This was actually a topic that you had asked to have on the podcast. So we’ll do our normal, we will define what traumatic stress is. Not Surprising. We will talk about what traumatic events typically are. We’ll look at the signs of traumatic stress, we’ll look at some of the physical symptoms of traumatic stress and we’ll look at the longterm effects of traumatic events on teens. And then as always, we will talk about how to deal with traumatic stress. Um, got a lot to go through here. We will also talk briefly about when to seek treatment for traumatic stress. Cause a lot of the things that we talk about here are self help, things, um, ways to help you cope with things. But sometimes you to going for professional help, uh, when you can’t cope with it in traumatic stress tends to be one of those things. So there, there are signs to look for, uh, when you know that you can’t deal with it on your own and you need to go seek professional help. Uh, and then I have a special note at the end that I did want to mention, um, that’s related to this topic. Ah, so questions before we start? Nope. All right, let’s get right into it then.:
Speaker 4:
3:34
So what is traumatic stress? Uh, this comes from a website called the help guide.org. It says, traumatic stress is a normal reaction to a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, motor vehicle accident, plane crash, violent crime or terrorist attack. Such events are extraordinarily stressful, not just for survivors, but also witnesses. And even those repeatedly exposed to the horrific images of the traumatic event circulated on social media and news sources. It goes on to say the intense, confusing and frightened, frightening emotions that follow a traumatic event or natural disaster can be even more pronounced in children. Whether they directly experienced the traumatic event or were repeatedly exposed to horrific media images after the fact. Well, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to being traumatized and adults the right support and reassurance with the right support and reassurance, they’re also able to recover faster. So interesting thing to take away from that is you don’t have to be the subject of a stressful or violent encounter, but if you’re exposed to it, it can cause traumatic stress in you.:
Speaker 4:
5:04
Um, and like it says, even though kids are more prone to being affected by it, they’re more equipped to and too quickly, you know, um, bounce back from that. Um, and, and one good example of this where a lot of people weren’t directly affected by it, but it affected a lot of people was the nine 11 attack. Definitely. So you had several thousand people were killed in those attacks and their family members obviously were directly affected by it. But you, it was one of those things that was in the media for a very long time. And even now when the anniversary comes around, there’s a lot of remembrances for it that tend to trigger some of these traumatic stresses and people who were exposed to it. And you know, there are people that weren’t directly exposed to it, who it still affects them. Um, so we’ll talk about some of the things, some of the signs of that and how to deal with that. So any questions on what we’re talking about when we say traumatic stress? Nope. Okay.:
Speaker 4:
6:23
So traumatic stress is often, um, related to traumatic events obviously. So a traumatic event can undermine a child’s sense of security, leaving them feeling helpless and vulnerable. And especially if the events stemmed from an act of violence such as a physical assault, a mass shooting liquid seen in the news frequently or terrorist attack, even kids or teens not directly affected by a disaster can become traumatized when repeatedly exposed to horrific images of the event on news and social media. And you know, every time there’s a mass shooting or something like that, it’s all over the news. It’s almost impossible not to be exposed to it. traumatic events can come in many forms that we can, that can have significant impact on an adolescent. Here’s a couple of examples. Now you tell me, I’ll go down the list and you tell me if you’ve experienced any of these and whether or not you think they’ve caused traumatic stress for you. Um, the first one is unexpectedly losing a loved one and I would even, um, include pets in this one. So have you had an experience where you’ve lost a loved one that’s caused traumatic stress? Can you give me a little detail:
Speaker 5:
7:47
like since you included pets? I’m gonna say my cat fluffy because I know a lot about it. So it was basically a normal day going on and um, mommy was just gonna make me breakfast, so I was pretty happy. And then you saw fluffer on the ground? She wasn’t looking to, well I didn’t know what was going on at the time cause I was a little too young to understand it, but I’m sure my mom, I knew what was happening. She was old and well I think today was that day.:
Speaker 4:
8:20
Yeah, she was that day. She had not been well physically. Yeah.:
Speaker 5:
8:24
So Mommy had to stay home all day. And when we came home, um, she was in her arms and mommy was actually going to take her to the vet to have her put down.:
Speaker 4:
8:36
Yeah, I remember that day. And the event actually came to the house, um, for us, cause our vet makes house calls and uh, you know, we didn’t want to suffering and we wound up having the vet, um, give her an injection that would help her pass painlessly. Um, but yeah, I mean that, I think that had a traumatic effect on everybody. So that’s a very good example.:
Speaker 5:
9:05
Yeah. And to be honest, I can’t remember if one day after the incident I can still cry again.:
Speaker 4:
9:13
Yeah. I know you had some, you had some concerns at school and you were very emotional for it and it’s, you know, that type of thing takes its toll on us. It does. It makes me better to say yes. So the next thing that we had on the list itself was being involved in a natural disaster. No, I don’t think you’ve, you’ve been involved in any natural disasters. A, we had some concerns, you know, especially recently we’ve had a number of very bad storms. We’ve been under tornado watches. Um, I know when we get that alert on the cell phone for the National Weather Service, uh, it can be very alarming and we wind up downstairs in the basement to be careful. Um, and the one that came by fairly recently did some damage in our neighborhood. So it really hit close to home, even knocking a tree down on a couple of neighbor’s houses. Um, have you had a traumatizing effect from any of any of those natural disasters?:
Speaker 5:
10:22
Well, I mean I’m pretty sure I won’t forget the one about the one recently cause that’s, um, when I realized about how much danger I could have been in, I was learning about tornadoes and the dangers they cause and when the electricity went out, I didn’t enjoy that much and I owed and I hated hearing the rain and the thunder. Yeah. Honestly, even though I know I’m sort of saved, the lightning is just unexpected and thunder still scares me to this day.:
Speaker 4:
10:55
I, I totally understand that. Uh, I’ve been through a couple of tornadoes and a tornadoes can get very scary, um, cause they spawn tornadoes and everything else. But hurricanes, Eric Canes are frightening. Um, fortunately where we live on the east coast, we don’t get too many dangerous earthquakes. Uh, we don’t get a really tsunamis here or anything like that. So we’ll get the occasional, you know, severe thunderstorm. We want to get hit with a hurricane. Um, we might get hit with a blizzard. Um, but for the most part I think we’re fairly safe where we’re at. The next one that we have on the list here is being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Have you ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident that is traumatized you?:
Speaker 5:
11:48
Well, no, but I have had you guys say when I was a, we were in a pretty bad accident but I don’t remember any of that and I haven’t really had any traumatic stress from any of the car accidents cause I don’t remember ever having a car accident except the one time where your car broke down. And I was actually forced to sit up front. I think when I was pretty young:
Speaker 4:
12:16
yeah. That, that doesn’t qualify as an accident. Um, but yeah, unfortunately you were, you were too young during the one accident. We had no one was hurt. The car was damaged. Um, mommy was driving at the time, uh, and it was a rainy night and somebody was driving too fast in the lane next to us. They hit a patch of water, they hydroplaned into our lane and basically bumped us off into the median, uh, into the, the shoulder rather. And there was a large hill that we basically plowed through that, that sort of stopped the car. So the car took a little bit of down, which, but none of us were hurt, which was nice. Um, but you know, I know people that have been in car accidents, fairly severe car accidents and it’s caused such a level of stress that they don’t even drive anymore and they’re terrified to get in the cars. Um, and going hand in hand with this would be being in a plane crash or a plane incident. Now, I know you’re not a big fan of flying, but not because you’ve had any kind of, you know, mishaps on the plane or anything like that. Right. What’s your, what’s your issue with flying?:
Speaker 5:
13:32
I don’t know. I just ever since I learned about nine 11 and the dangers of what could happen if the plane actually crutches, I don’t exactly want that to happen to me. I mean, I haven’t actually been on it, but like you said before, if someone witnessed or heard about a plane accident or any type of action, it could cause them traumatic stress. And I think, um, after hearing like crashes and planes and how it could severely hurt you and mainly hearing about nine 11, I don’t exactly want to be on a plane because I’m afraid of what would happen.:
Speaker 4:
14:10
Yeah. And that’s a good example of, of non-related incidents inducing that traumatic stress because of the amount of exposure you’ve had to it. Uh, the next one they have here is being violently attacked. Uh, fortunately you’ve never had that happen to you, have you? Um, that can definitely cause traumatic stress as a kid. You know, I can relate stories where I’ve been in fights, but there was only one incident where I was in high school and I was violently attacked by this one kid from behind and didn’t even have a chance to defend myself. Um, and you know, I didn’t get, I wasn’t permanently hurt by it, but you know, just that song of someone sneaking up behind you and, and attacking you, you know, have you looking over my shoulder for a little while there and uh, I, I can definitely say call some traumatic stress for a little while, but I make learn to deal with it. So, but uh, there’s a lot of violence in the world unfortunately and, and I don’t think we’re going to get rid of it anytime soon. Um, one of the last things in here is actually something that I had put in there wasn’t even in the the study. Cause I know this has caused traumatic stress in people that I’m friends with and that’s having a major change or upheaval in your life. In a couple of examples here, one of which you can definitely relate to. One is moving to a new house. Do you remember when we moved into the house we’re in now?:
Speaker 5:
15:48
Well, I remember very little of it, but I do remember walking by this one house that was really high up. And I do remember, um, we were in the kitchen at the dining table and I was playing with the little frog lps I think. Okay. And, um, I don’t really remember too much. I think I might remember walking in the basement, but I think that’s pretty much it. I don’t remember too much of it, but I can definitely go at least say I won’t forget. Um, some of the moments.:
Speaker 4:
16:19
Yeah. And there are people that I know who lived in one house all their life and you know, when they were in their late teens, their parents move them to a new house and it caused a lot of trauma for them. They, they, they adapted poorly to the change:
Speaker 5:
16:37
honestly. Um, I was, it was actually my third birthday when me moved. I didn’t really, I actually don’t remember too much of our old house except like I don’t really remember too much. I don’t even remember what the layout was. But like honestly I only, I know only have real memories of being in this house and I don’t really have memories of the old house. So not too much change.:
Speaker 4:
17:04
Sure. So then you didn’t, you didn’t go through any stress for that. But one of the things that go hand in hand with moving to new houses, oftentimes you change schools as a result and you’re changing schools this year, but that’s part of the natural progression where that doesn’t necessarily make it any less stressful for you, does it? No. So what are some of the things that concern you from a stress standpoint about the med school?:
Speaker 5:
17:30
Well, the thing is, um, I guess just having all the schools combined and having like everybody be there is also, is kind of stressful. Also having, uh, switch classes. I mean, I knew I switched classes in my old school, but I only had two teachers. I only switched a couple of times. Now I’ll be switching for every single class, which will be stressful. I know that for a fact. I’ll also have to change clothes for when we go to gym and um, we don’t have recess and a longer lunch and all the clubs and stuff and having to keep up with everything.:
Speaker 4:
18:09
Yeah. There’s a lot of things to, to take into consideration when you, you moved to a new school like that. The last thing that we have on this, this list here was a major family change such as a divorce and adoption or a new baby. Um, you’ve not had to go through any of those yet, have you? So, uh, I know I can speak from experience that bringing a new baby in to the family can cause some traumatic stress for any existing children. Um, uh, divorce definitely can cause traumatic stress. Um, I was terrified as a child myself. Anytime my parents would have a fight or an argument, um, I was terrified of them getting a divorce. Like you just don’t know what the future is gonna be with stuff like that. So a lot of it’s uncertainty. A lot of it is, um, you know, changes in routine. Um, and a lot of it is loss. So I mean that’s really what the source of a lot of the trauma events are. Anything that add to trauma events.:
Speaker 5:
19:20
Well I do want to say another thing, be in taking away, taken away from your family or being lost.:
Speaker 4:
19:30
Yes. That’s a very good point because that did happen to you. So why don’t you tell us about that?:
Speaker 5:
19:36
Well it was a pretty normal day where actually we were actually at Disney and we were at magic kingdom or was getting late and you were kind of getting tired but me and mommy was still wanting to stay at the park. So you decided to go back to, um, the a hotel, which was probably, which probably also caused the stress I had. Um, so there was this run ride. I never went on Space Mountain and Marie recommended me to try it. So I did because I was the only one in the family who liked riding roller coasters. And since Molly was never on it, cause she hates riding roller coasters. And since I’ve never been on it, she didn’t realize there were two different exits. So I was on the ride. I don’t remember too much of the ride. I just remember like, like blue lights and like the track and how it all was twisted and turned after the ride.:
Speaker 5:
20:26
I really, um, I saw, I saw there were two different ways to exit, but a bunch of people were going up like a broken ramp, moving ramp. So I followed them because I thought that’s where mommy would be. So I ended up in the shop. But when I saw, when I didn’t see mommy was there, I panicked. I ran outside, didn’t see her. I began to cry. Luckily one woman and her daughter saw me crying and um, decided to help me. We went up to a cast member. Luckily I knew my mom’s phone, Mommy’s phone number at the top at the time. So she called her and then eventually we met up speaker and I was actually really scared because I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t know what Molly was and I didn’t have a phone. And you were back at the hotel and I didn’t know how to get back without mommy and I didn’t want to leave her. Right. So, but then we got back together and I think I will never forget how I got lost that day.:
Speaker 4:
21:23
Dan. That’s scary. That’s, that’s certainly had a significant impact on you.:
Speaker 5:
21:26
Yeah. And I actually refused to ride flash out of space mountain for a while.:
Speaker 4:
21:31
Yeah. So, but you know, and since then we’ve taken certain precautions, right? You’ve got a cell phone that you carry with you now and the event that you do get separated:
Speaker 5:
21:41
I always make sure it’s on me whenever I go on a roller coaster because you guys don’t go on roller coasters.:
Speaker 4:
21:47
Right. Um, you also know to go see gala cast member in the event that you do get lost. Um, so, so we’ve, we’ve sort of learned our lesson from that, you know, as a family.:
Speaker 5:
22:00
And Luckily, um, I last trip I was actually brave enough to go back on space mountain and I basically faced my fear and I’m no longer afraid to go on anymore.:
Speaker 4:
22:10
Good for you. That’s a good example of overcoming traumatic stress them. So let’s talk about when we come back, the signs of traumatic stress. So the first one on the list here is shock and disbelief. You may have a hard time accepting, accepting the reality of what happened. Um, in your traumatic experience, events has that one of those symptoms that you experience?:
Speaker 5:
22:43
Yeah, mainly with like, um, the space mountain one. Anytime I’ve ever been lost I just can’t accept it. I’m just terrified of it. I just can’t accept it.:
Speaker 4:
22:56
Right. And that leads us into the next one is fear. The same thing will happen in gang. Your fear that the same thing will happen again over and over and you lose control or breakdown. Well that fear is what stopped you from going on the ride anymore.:
Speaker 5:
23:13
and that’s all actually a similar thing to one kickball game where, um, I kept the ball and this one kid wanted to get me up by rolling the ball, but he rolled it too soon. I tripped over the ball and slid it across. Um, the um, sand because there were sand. I just remember budget’s good. When I opened my eyes, there was sand and tears in them and I could barely see the people in front of me and I actually real. And I think that’s how I grew my hate of kickball.:
Speaker 4:
23:44
Yeah, it’s kind of soured you on the sport, doesn’t it? a sadness, particularly if people you know, died. So I think that was pretty self explanatory. I think we were all seven past helplessness. The sudden unpredictable nature of violent crimes, accidents or natural disasters may leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless. Lightening the, you know, our fear of lightning, both you are in my fear of lightning is a good example of that. Yeah. Guilt. Now this is probably wrong, you’ve not experienced, um, but in crimes and accidents and stuff, one of the things that the survivors feels called survivor guilt, guilt that you survived when others died or that you could have done more to help. So that’s definitely a sign of traumatic stress and anger. You’re may be angry at God or others you feel are responsible for the stress that, that you’ve been put on. Have you ever had a sense of anger? Like were you, were you angry about the kickball where you were angry about space mountain or anything?:
Speaker 5:
24:56
No, I never actually felt angry. I mean, space mountain. It was just like an accident because neither of us were on the ride before and we didn’t know what was going on. So I shouldn’t be angry for anyone about that kickball. I am a little upset at the kid, but, um, I didn’t really know the kid, but I still don’t really forgive him for doing that even though I know it was also an accident. I still will not forgive him for it.:
Speaker 4:
25:26
What about shame, especially over feelings or fears you can’t control? Is there a sense of shame to that?:
Speaker 5:
25:35
Um, I do feel a little bit shameful when I’m, when I, um, my, with my favorites under enlightening. I just feel as though like, I know thunder won’t hurt you or just a sound after lightning and I just feel like, I’m like, people will laugh at me because I just hate that I’m afraid of the sound. Right. And it won’t hurt.:
Speaker 4:
25:56
Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it’s hard to have fears and admit to those fears. I think that’s one of the bravest things to do is to admit to those fears and to not be shameful of them because everybody has fears and fear is a natural human reaction to danger and it helps to keep, it’s keep us safe. Then the last thing that’s on here is an illogical conclusion is relief. You may feel relieved that the worst is over and even hopeful that your life will return to normal.:
Speaker 5:
26:28
Yeah. That’s how I felt after like me and mommy found each other. I felt hopeful that everything would be okay, but I also didn’t, I also no longer wanted to go on space mountain. And for a while you asked make fun made fun of me it. Oh yeah, we didn’t make fun of you, Sweetie. Caught it last mountain.:
Speaker 4:
26:48
All right. Sorry to make fun of you. So, all right. I don’t pretend to be the best parent in the world. So let’s talk about some of the physical symptoms of traumatic stress. So these should be fairly quick. So trembling or shaking. Have you ever experienced that from a trauma?:
Speaker 5:
27:10
Oh yes. From kickball. Any time I was close to being up for kicking, I would always shake or tremble and feel weak. How about a pounding hard? I guess that’s pretty common, right? Yeah. Also from, um, from the space around when I was lost, I could feel my heart pounding. Oh, rapid breathing too. Yeah. The breathing along with kickball as well.:
Speaker 4:
27:35
What about a lumping your throat or feeling choked up?:
Speaker 5:
27:40
Kickball? Yes. Yes, probably space mountain.:
Speaker 4:
27:42
How about your stomach tightening or churning?:
Speaker 5:
27:46
Yeah, that’s pretty much clickable for you.:
Speaker 4:
27:50
Uh, have you ever felt dizzy or faint during one of these events?:
Speaker 5:
27:55
Space. Mountain and I think a little bit of kickball.:
Speaker 4:
27:58
Well, so yeah. You were definitely experiencing some traumatic stress there. Um, cold sweats.:
Speaker 5:
28:07
Yup. Probably from both experiences:
Speaker 4:
28:09
and like racing thoughts like your mind is trying to get away from you.:
Speaker 5:
28:14
I, yeah. Um, space.:
Speaker 4:
28:16
Yeah. And I’ll tell you, I experienced a lot of these. The last time I happened to be in the hospital, I had the bilateral pulmonary embolisms, the blood clots on my lungs, and, um, I didn’t actually experience stress until they came. The doctor came to me and one told me how bad the blood clots were. He was amazed that I was still alive, that my blood clots were that bad. And he said the only treatment that he would recommend at this point in time, they could put me on blood thinners and hope that the blood clots broke up safely. Or they could put me on this, um, prototype medicine that he referred to as a clot-buster. And he said, you know, that should clear up the clots in 24 to 48 hours. But because of the effect that it has on your body, it could cause breeding in the Blaine, um, bleeding in the brain.:
Speaker 4:
29:18
Um, and a certain percentage of, of people that had the bleeding in the brain, it turns out to be fatal. So it was sort of at that point that the stress kind of hit me at that point. Um, and ironically enough, it was largely because I knew I wasn’t getting out of the hospital until these things have been resolved and they w I was in intensive care and they gonna let you or Sam in to see me in intensive care. So my fear was that I was going to be one of those small percentages that didn’t survive and I wouldn’t even have a chance to see you guys, you know, before that point. It got there. And that’s really what got me stressed out over the whole thing. But fortunately things worked out. They gave me the medicine and a, everything worked out in the end.:
Speaker 5:
30:07
I mean, I do remember waiting with Sam in the waiting room. Yeah. And I remember also seeing you on new, out of intensive care. And I remember just when we had the babysitter, um, we had the calls and you were like, you are like breathing tubes all around you.:
Speaker 4:
30:28
Yeah. I remember at one point in time they put the, uh, the respirator mask on me. And Ronnie thought it was funny and took a picture cause she thought I looked like Darth Vader. So, so glad mom, we can have fun at my expense there, but that’s probably the most traumatic experience I think I’ve had in a long time, so there aren’t a longterm effects and we’ll talk about those in a minute.:
Speaker 6:
30:56
Okay.:
Speaker 4:
30:59
It’s important to note that the longterm effects of traumatic events manifest differently at different age levels. A five year old child may regress into their behavior to younger ages to cope with the effects. While a 10 year old may develop on founded fears or physical manifestations of ailments, and a teenager may relive the trauma through flashbacks. It’s important to understand how trauma affects kids at different ages so you can recognize the symptoms and handle them appropriately. We’re going to limit this discussion on the common effects of teens from the ages of 12 through 17 okay, so one of the longterm effects is having flashbacks of the event nightmares or sleep problems. Ah. Have you ever had any flashbacks of any of the trauma that you’ve experienced?:
Speaker 5:
31:56
Well, I’ve had flashbacks of the kickball game whenever I’m up at Calc Coppola and I just remember like how I chipped slipped across the ground and just got injured. Pretty bad.:
Speaker 4:
32:09
Like reliving the event. Yeah. Yeah. Um, some people avoid reminders of the event. Do you try to avoid all, I mean obviously you try to avoid space around, right?:
Speaker 5:
32:20
Yeah. I’ve tried to avoid space mountain for awhile because I didn’t want to get lost again.:
Speaker 4:
32:25
Yeah. And the one thing for me related to that, the hospital that I was in when I had the pes was actually on the same road that I used to drive to work. So about six months I drove to work a different way, completely unaware of why I was doing it subconsciously my eye, my brain wouldn’t let me drive past the hospital because of the stress that I endured there. And it wasn’t until like six months later that I realized I was driving a different path and we kind of figured out why it was why it was doing that. Um, one of the other coping mechanisms people have is they turn to drugs and alcohol for that to try to cope with them because it numbs the pain. And I think it’s important to be aware of that and to steer yourself clear that cause that’s just gonna cause more problems. It’s not going to solve anything. And some people act disruptive or disrespective or destructive. Have you had any, any outbursts like that as a result of your traumatic events?:
Speaker 5:
33:35
I don’t think so. No.:
Speaker 4:
33:36
Sounds good. I’m on physical complaints. Did you find your having any physical elements after any of your things? I mean by that. Oh, did your stomach bother you or did you get headaches or anything like that after a trauma? A trauma?:
Speaker 5:
33:50
Well, I felt dizzy after, um, the spaceman one and after me and mommy had gotten popcorn, I still felt like, oh, dizzy after the event.:
Speaker 4:
33:59
Yeah. How bout feelings of guilt or isolation or depression?:
Speaker 5:
34:05
Don’t think so out. Well actually, um, I guess from fluffer from fluffers deaths sudden and then have a good time getting over it. Yeah.:
Speaker 4:
34:18
Um, has any trauma calls you to lose interest in hobbies that you previously enjoyed?:
Speaker 6:
34:24
Hmm,:
Speaker 5:
34:26
I don’t think so because I didn’t enjoy sports at the beginning, so, um, I, I think I actually just stayed farther away from sports due to, um, the kickball game.:
Speaker 4:
34:39
Yeah. May Have distance you more, but like from space mountain, you didn’t stop going to Disney, you just stopped going on space mountain. Yeah. Yeah. And the last one here, and this is probably the most concerning, is some people when they go through these things, they come out of them and they have suicidal thoughts, you know, thoughts about harming themselves or killing themselves. Um, you’ve not experienced anything like that? Nope. Not at all. No, no, no. That’s good. Um, so that’s just an example of some of the longterm effects. Uh, when we come back, we’ll talk about some ways to deal with traumatic stress.:
Speaker 4:
35:25
Usually the unsettling thoughts and feelings of traumatic stress as well as any unpleasant physical symptoms start to fade as life returns to normal over the days or weeks following a traumatic event. You agree with that? Yeah. Um, however, it’s important to remember that people react in different ways to trauma. So as someone that you’re close with has experienced a traumatic event, it’s one of those things is you don’t rush them to heal. You know, you have to be patient with them. There’s no right or wrong way to respond. Um, we’re all different. So don’t tell yourself or anyone else what you should be thinking, feeling or doing. One of the first things that people try to do when someone’s in a situation like that is they try to empathize with them. You know, they’ll say things like, I know how you feel, or something like that. And, and that can have a negative effect on people because after a traumatic event, you do feel isolated.:
Speaker 4:
36:27
You, you do feel like, especially if it was just you effected in a, in a violent event or you know, the death of a loved one, you don’t feel like other people can relate to you at that point in time. So if you’re helping someone get through a traumatic experience, don’t try to put yourself in their place. Try to be there to be supportive for them. Um, avoid obsessive, really reliving the traumatic event. Repetitious thinking or viewing horrific images over and over can overwhelm your nervous system, making it harder to think clearly. Partake. Take activities that keep your mind occupied. Read, watch a movie, Cook. Play with your kids, live with your parents in your case. Um, so you’re not dedicating all your energy and attention to the traumatic event. One of the things a lot of people do is obsess over those traumatic events and that obsession tends to, you know, weigh down on them.:
Speaker 4:
37:30
Um, ignoring your feelings will slow recovery. It may seem better in the moment to avoid experiencing your emotions, but they exist. Whether you’re paying attention to them or not. Even intense feelings will, will pass if you simply allow yourself to feel what you feel. And if you’re feeling sadness, it’s okay. If you’re feeling fear, it’s okay. They’re all natural reactions and you can’t ignore them. You have to, you have to experience in them. You have to deal with them. Reestablish a routine. You know, there is comfort in the familiar after a disaster. Getting back as much as you can to your normal routine will help minimize traumatic stress, anxiety and hopelessness. Even if your work or school routines disrupted, you can structure your day with regular times for eating, sleeping, spending time with family and relaxing or getting back into that groove that you were in before.:
Speaker 4:
38:32
After something like that happens, you know, where the passing of fluffer you have this overwhelming feeling of sin, this and you don’t want to be bothered with other people and you want to go off on your own and stuff like that. That’s not healthy. You know, if, if, if you’re allowing it to break your routine like that. So you have to be a little bit more cognizant of, of your own Sneads uh, recognize when traumatic stress becomes PTSD. Do you know what PTSD is? No. PTSD is post traumatic stress disorder and this can be, it’s a psychological effect of a stressful event. Um, you hear a lot about it in a first responders or um, the military where the been placed in these extremely stressful situations where life is on the line and when they come back they can’t cope with it emotionally. I mean, most human beings can’t cope with stuff that stressful emotionally and it takes an effect on their physical and mental health. Um, if your traumatic stress symptoms don’t ease up and your nervous system remains what they call stock or unable to move on from the event for a prolonged period of time, you may experience PTSD, in which case then you need to talk to a professional about that. Um, you know, there are special counselors and doctors after the treat just to that:
Speaker 6:
40:04
.:
Speaker 4:
40:06
Um, well, symptoms of the stress often naturally fade with time. The following tips can assist in the process and help you better come to terms with it. Minimize media exposure, stop watching that school shooting if it’s causing you stress, engage, you know, Mrs Repairs, engage your child. If your child has been bullied at school or has had a experience of being lost or any of the issues or a death in the family, engage with your child, talk to them, sit with them, spend time with them. Let them, you know, unleash their fears and frustrations on you. Um, and carriage, physical activity. A lot of times the best way of bouncing out of a tr, uh, stressful situation is to, to get physical work out. Go for a walk, push a wall, punch a pillow. You know, something like that. It’s that pent up energy that has to, you have to put that somewhere.:
Speaker 4:
41:09
So if you can put that into physical activity, it’s less you’re trying to bottle up, um, a healthy diet. You know that that topic has come up many times to deal with stress. Uh, your body goes through chemical changes when you go through a stressful situation. And having a proper diet allows your body to physically cope with it better. Um, and then the last they have here is to rebuild trust and safety. Everybody wants to be, feel safe. And a lot of times these traumatic incidents threatened that safety, whether it’s your kickball incident or getting lost at Disney or a school shooting or nine 11 or whatever it is, it disrupts that feeling of safety that we have. So a lot of times after a traumatic event, you sort of need to pull the loved ones closer together to you there. Get that blanket feeling of safety back in there and that’ll help you deal with the stress itself.:
Speaker 7:
42:12
Okay.:
Speaker 6:
42:13
Questions? Nope.:
Speaker 4:
42:16
Okay. So when we come back, we’ll talk about when you should see:
Speaker 6:
42:20
treatment for your stress.:
Speaker 4:
42:28
Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ve ever reached the point where you’ve had to seek outside help. Um, usually feelings of anxiety, numbness, confusion, guilt and despair following a disaster or a traumatic event will start to fade with at a relatively short time. However, if your traumatic stress reaction is so intense and persistent that it’s getting in the way of your ability to function,:
Speaker 7:
42:55
um,:
Speaker 4:
42:55
you may need help from a mental health professional, a preferably a trauma specialist. So if six weeks have passed and you’re still not feeling any better, it might be time to find help. Um, if you’re having trouble functioning at school, like if you’re day to day function just isn’t working correctly, you may need to talk to someone. If you’re experiencing terrifying memories and nightmares or flashbacks, that’s a sign of something that’s a little bit deeper that you need to do to work through.:
Speaker 7:
43:31
Um,:
Speaker 4:
43:32
if the symptoms of traumatic stress manifest as physical complaints, we talked about headaches and stomach pains or sleep disturbances, then we need to talk to someone to try and work through those. If you’re having an increasingly difficult time relating to your friends and family, now these, this isn’t making new friends. This is the friends you have and the family you have. If you’re getting into arguments too often, if they’re annoying you too much, there may be some underlying stress that we need to work through. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, that’s not something to play around with. And we’ll talk about that a little bit more. Um, and if you’re avoiding more and more of the things that remind you of the traumatic event, for instance, if you just decided you don’t want to go to Disney anymore, when it’s clear that you love Disney before the event, then that avoidance is a trigger point of time to go see someone.:
Speaker 4:
44:35
Um, and, and there’s different people that you can see. You have counselors at school that can help, um, they can refer you to someone or they can help you directly. You have your pediatrician, your regular primary care physician, you can talk to them and they can diagnose, especially if you’re having physical symptoms. They can diagnose them and determine if it’s stress related or not. Um, but ultimately you’ll wind up talking to a professional if it becomes two van psychologist, psychiatrist, um, trauma counselors in the event of a natural disasters or school shootings. One of the things you’ll hear in events like that is there, they make counselors available for the students and the people in the area of fact that, and those people are specially trained to help deal with traumatic stress. So we’ve not gotten to that point. Hopefully we never will get to that point. Um, but if we do, at least we know the signs that will trigger that. So when I come back with a quick special note and then we’ll move on to, uh, your closing remarks and shout outs.:
Speaker 4:
45:56
So the one thing that I wanted to call special attention to here is suicide. Okay. We’ve, we’ve not done a podcast on it and we probably will at some point in time, but one of the things that comes out of traumatic events a lot is suicide and any talk of suicide is significant. Okay? So take any suicidal talk behavior seriously, even if you don’t think the person is going to do it. If nothing else, it’s assigned that they need help. And if they don’t get that help, then something can happen. A, it’s not just a warning sign that your teen is thinking about suicide. It is a cry for help. Um, so please read the suicide prevention or call the suicide helpline, um, in the U S, uh, call the national suicide prevention lifeline at one 802, seven, three, eight, two, five, five. The UK call Samaritans at 0845790909 now Australia. Call the lifeline at 13 1114. And all other countries you can visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention at www dot I a s p. Dot. Info. Um, do not take any talk or suggestion as suicide lightly. It’s very important to dig it seriously and to seek help and help the people out. Okay.:
Speaker 6:
47:33
Hmm.:
Speaker 4:
47:34
So let’s come back with your closing remarks and your shout outs. I’d turn it over to you.:
Speaker 5:
47:45
Thank you. So for those held there who have experienced traumatic stress, um, I do recommend going and talking to someone about it ever. If it happened a while ago and you’re still having trouble coping with it, I’d recommend going to someone who you, who cares about you and who you care about and hopefully they’ll be able to help you. I also recommend seeing other people if it gets to a really bad point and also please don’t try and things that you should kill yourself because of the cause of an event. Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, it’s going to be hard to get all your brain, but I’m sure all of us have got our going or have gone through traumatic stress with certain actions of our life.:
Speaker 4:
48:36
Okay. Very good. How about shout outs? Who We shout out through today?:
Speaker 5:
48:40
I’m gonna give a shout out to you in Mommy. You two were there for me for when I was also space mountain. You helped me cope with that stress and eventually I was able to get over the stress of being on space mountain and I was able to go on it. You were also able to help made deal with the fluffers laws along with the stress from the kickball game.:
Speaker 4:
49:06
Okay. Very good. And I think that does it for us today. Uh, thank you for listening. This was a bit of a hard hitting topic this week. Uh, hopefully next week we’ll come back with something, uh, a little bit more fun. Yeah. And uh, I think that’s it for today.:
Speaker 6:
49:24
Hi everyone. Bye.:

Show Notes

  • Introductions
    • Brilliant and delightful co-host Madison Whalen
  • What is Traumatic Stress
    • https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/traumatic-stress.htm
    • Traumatic stress is a normal reaction to a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, motor vehicle accident, plane crash, violent crime, or terrorist attack. Such events are extraordinarily stressful—not just for survivors, but also witnesses and even those repeatedly exposed to the horrific images of the traumatic event circulated on social media and news sources.
       
    • https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/helping-children-cope-with-traumatic-stress.htm/
    • The intense, confusing, and frightening emotions that follow a traumatic event or natural disaster can be even more pronounced in children—whether they directly experienced the traumatic event or were repeatedly exposed to horrific media images after the fact. While children and adolescents are more vulnerable to being traumatized than adults, with the right support and reassurance, they are also able to recover faster.
       
  • What are Traumatic Events
    • A traumatic event can undermine a child’s sense of security, leaving them feeling helpless and vulnerable, especially if the event stemmed from an act of violence, such as a physical assault, mass shooting, or terrorist attack. Even kids or teens not directly affected by a disaster can become traumatized when repeatedly exposed to horrific images of the event on the news or social media. Traumatic events can come in many forms that can have significant impact on an adolescent. Below are some examples:
      • Unexpectedly losing a loved one
      • Being involved in a natural disaster
      • Being involved in a motor vehicle accident
      • Being involved in a plane crash or incident
      • Being violently attack
      • Having a major change or upheaval in your life
        • Moving to a new house
        • Changing schools
        • Major family changes (divorce, adoption, new baby)
           
  • Signs of Traumatic Stress
    • Shock and disbelief – you may have a hard time accepting the reality of what happened
    • Fear – that the same thing will happen again, or that you’ll lose control or break down
    • Sadness – particularly if people you know died
    • Helplessness – the sudden, unpredictable nature of violent crime, accidents, or natural disasters may leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless
    • Guilt – that you survived when others died, or that you could have done more to help
    • Anger – you may be angry at God or others you feel are responsible
    • Shame – especially over feelings or fears you can’t control
    • Relief – you may feel relieved that the worst is over, and even hopeful that your life will return to normal
       
  • Physical Symptoms of Traumatic Stress
    • Trembling or shaking
    • Pounding heart
    • Rapid breathing
    • Lump in throat; feeling choked up
    • Stomach tightening or churning
    • Feeling dizzy or faint
    • Cold sweats
    • Racing thoughts
  • Long Term Effects of Traumatic Events on Teens
    • It’s important to note that the long term effects of traumatic events manifest differently at different age levels. A five year old child may regress in their behavior to younger ages to cope with the effects while a ten year old may develop unfounded fears or physical manifestations of ailments and a teenager  may relive the trauma through flashbacks. It’s important to understand how trauma effects kids at different ages so you can recognize the symptoms and handle them appropriately. We’ll limit out discussion on the common effects on teens from ages 12 through 17.
      • Have flashbacks to the event, nightmares, or other sleep problems
      • Avoid reminders of the event
      • Abuse drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
      • Act disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive
      • Have physical complaints
      • Feel isolated, guilty, or depressed
      • Lose interest in hobbies and interests
      • Have suicidal thoughts
         
  • How to deal with Traumatic Stress
    • Usually, the unsettling thoughts and feelings of traumatic stress—as well as any unpleasant physical symptoms—start to fade as life returns to normal over the days or weeks following a traumatic event. However, it’s important to remember that people react in different ways to trauma.
       
    • There is no “right” or “wrong” way to respond. We’re all different, so don’t tell yourself (or anyone else) what you should be thinking, feeling, or doing.
       
    • Avoid obsessively reliving the traumatic event. Repetitious thinking or viewing horrific images over and over can overwhelm your nervous system, making it harder to think clearly. Partake in activities that keep your mind occupied (read, watch a movie, cook, play with your kids), so you’re not dedicating all your energy and attention to the traumatic event.
       
    • Ignoring your feelings will slow recovery. It may seem better in the moment to avoid experiencing your emotions, but they exist whether you’re paying attention to them or not. Even intense feelings will pass if you simply allow yourself to feel what you feel.
       
    • Reestablish routine. There is comfort in the familiar. After a disaster, getting back—as much as possible—to your normal routine, will help you minimize traumatic stress, anxiety, and hopelessness. Even if your work or school routine is disrupted, you can structure your day with regular times for eating, sleeping, spending time with family, and relaxing.
       
    • Recognize when traumatic stress becomes PTSD. If your traumatic stress symptoms don’t ease up and your nervous system remains “stuck,” unable to move on from the event for a prolonged period of time, you may be experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
       
    • While symptoms of traumatic stress often naturally fade with time, the following tips can assist in the process and help you better come to terms with the traumatic experience.
      • Minimize media exposure: While some survivors or witnesses of a traumatic event can regain a sense of control by watching media coverage of the event or by observing the recovery effort, others find that the reminders are further traumatizing. Excessive exposure to images of a disturbing event —such as repeatedly viewing video clips on social media or news sites—can even create traumatic stress in people not directly affected by the event.
      • Engage your child: You can’t force your child to recover from traumatic stress, but you can play a major role in the healing process by simply spending time together and talking face to face, free from TV, games, and other distractions. Do your best to create an environment where your kids feel safe to communicate what they’re feeling and to ask questions.
      • Encourage physical activity: Physical activity can burn off adrenaline, release mood-enhancing endorphins, and help your child sleep better at night.
      • Feed your child a healthy diet: The food your child eats can have a profound impact on their mood and ability to cope with traumatic stress. Processed and convenience food, refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks and snacks can create mood swings and worsen symptoms of traumatic stress. Conversely, eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, can help your child better cope with the ups and downs that follow a disturbing experience.
      • Rebuild trust and safety: Trauma can alter the way a child sees the world, making it suddenly seem a much more dangerous and frightening place. Your child may find it more difficult to trust both their environment and other people. You can help by rebuilding your child’s sense of safety and security.
         
  • When to seek treatment for Traumatic Stress
    • Usually, feelings of anxiety, numbness, confusion, guilt, and despair following a disaster or traumatic event will start to fade within a relatively short time. However, if your traumatic stress reaction is so intense and persistent that it’s getting in the way of your ability to function, you may need help from a mental health professional—preferably a trauma specialist.
      • Six weeks have passed, and your child is not feeling any better
      • Your child is having trouble functioning at school
      • Your child is experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
      • The symptoms of traumatic stress manifest as physical complaints such as headaches, stomach pains, or sleep disturbances
      • Your child is having an increasingly difficult time relating to friends and family
      • Your child or teen is experiencing suicidal thoughts
      • Your child is avoiding more and more things that remind them of the traumatic event
         
  • Special Note
    • Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It’s not just a warning sign that your child or teen is thinking about suicide—it’s a cry for help. Please read Suicide Prevention or call a suicide helpline:
      • In the U.S., call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
      • In the UK, call Samaritans at 08457 90 90 90.
      • In Australia, call Lifeline at 13 11 14.
      • In other countries visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) at www.iasp.info
         

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