Collective TRAUMA in the COVID-19 Pandemic
- July 6, 2021
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In a recent daily comedy show, research data highlighting how the level of rage had gone so high in the United State was being discussed. In the discussion, attention was drawn to the level of degeneration occurring in our societies such that people are so easily triggered into fights in car parks, supermarkets and everywhere you can think of. Even though this study was conducted in the United State, it’s also an increasing trend globally. More and more people are easily moved into altercations and physical abuse even for the minutest things. The analysis attributed the increasing level of rage to the volatile political climate in the United States in recent times. A renowned professor from Yale, Dr Jimmy Chemo suggested that practicing forgiveness is key to minimizing this level of rage and recommended a process people could follow to practice forgiveness in their lives.
You may be asking; what has this got to do with trauma? First, let’s start by saying that these past months the world experienced a global pandemic, and we are not the same again. Can you imagine many children who are going to grow up without their grandparents? Can you fathom the difficulties in many families who have lost their livelihoods? Many others have painfully lost their lives, alone in their hospital beds with no family to hold their hands or give them one last kiss. It has been over a year now that we have collectively gone through this challenging time. In the actual sense of it, all of us have gone through some sort of trauma, notwithstanding if you are just following the news and reports.
By definition, “Psychological trauma is a response to an event that a person finds highly stressful. This event could be a natural disaster, a war zone experience, or an accident. Going by this definition, it is obvious that so many of us have been through some sort of traumatic situation to various degrees. This varies from facing events that are threatening to either our lives, our livelihood, or/and our family relationships or just very stressful events. Nonetheless, not every stressful event result in a traumatic response. In the case of trauma, one tends to respond in ways that makes them relieve the traumatic event all the time at the slightest trigger.
Trauma can cause a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms”. People experience trauma at different levels. Your character also has a role to play on how you respond to any traumatic event and how you can handle emotions. The effect of traumatic events can stay for a day, week, months for some people or even for years. However, once you recognise that you are experiencing trauma, it is not fair on yourself to live in denial. By accepting that we have been through a tough season, that is when the healing process can begin.
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