We always try to practice what we preach, especially when it comes to the saying, “Be kind to everyone.” 

We may not know what they are going through or what their story truly is.

Everyday there are people who walk around us carrying certain burdens in their lives that they have to live with. At any moment, depending on how their mental state is, they can be triggered by certain things they find to be highly uncomfortable and unsafe.

These burdens can come from past trauma experiences, especially if one occurred during one’s childhood. These events could play into a large portion of their adulthood.

Not all individuals who go through certain traumatic experiences heal, which is why it’s important to be aware of how you should treat a person.

Despite what you think you know about someone, it really doesn’t benefit anyone to have negative assumptions, thoughts, or words directed towards them.

Practicing to build a more trauma informed environment and being self-aware of our body language, tone, and behavior towards interacting with others can be helpful towards those living with certain trauma related conditions.

Trauma itself can be “caused by an overwhelmingly negative event that causes a lasting impact on the individual’s mental and emotional stability.” As per Google definition, these negative experiences can occur and affect one’s functionality as early as childhood.

Examples of events that can induce trauma include parental divorce, death, incarceration, domestic violence, sexual assault, mental illnesses, substance abuse, witnessing violence or death, experiencing hardship, and many other emotionally overwhelming circumstances.

This is where one can be suffering from a disorder known as Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, or PTSD.

Being aware of your close one’s trauma can help make a safer and more inviting environment for them.

Trauma informed means that you care and learn about the person’s past and want to be an asset towards their future healing. It’s understanding where they come from, and who they are, but not making their trauma a key trait to who they really are.

It means being empathetic to their emotions, feelings and anything else they are going through. It means understanding their warning signs and knowing how to approach them with care and compassion. If you are a person going through the effects of your own trauma, you are not alone and it is okay to seek help.

For resources about the importance of trauma informed care and learning to cope with trauma, visit these links below: 

Trauma-informed care: What it is, and why it’s important 

National Institute of Mental Health MH – Coping With Traumatic Events

If you want a specific topic related to mental health covered, Daniella Mendez may be reached at dm3728@columbia.edu.

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