How do we press past the pain and devastation caused by abandonment, bullying, neglect, shame, domestic violence, emotional abuse, divorce, violent crimes, loss, poverty, rape, sexual abuse and separation anxiety? The initial reactions to trauma can include exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, confusion, physical arousal, and blunted affect. According to statistics, “there is an estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States that have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD.” Properly treating mental health issues can significantly and positively impact one’s quality of life. However, unchecked emotions can cause severe adverse and worsening conditions. Unfortunately, most people wait until their symptoms are unbearable and deeply entrenched to include possible cognitive distortions that may lead to self-sabotaging behaviors. We should never be afraid or ashamed to reach out and ask for help. We all need to realize we can’t do life alone. Did you know that one of Satan’s greatest weapons against our generation seems to be his ability to make people believe they are better off doing life alone? If the Son of God didn’t do life alone, why should we?
Although we all have to deal with our own obstacles, there are many individuals who feel hopeless when facing unfortunate circumstances in life. I have learned that there are many of us who are clean outwardly but inwardly filled with dead men’s bones, walking around like zombies, covering up the hurt we have endured. On the contrary, if we take care of the inward, the outward will take care of itself. I believe that we can put an end to the existence of continuing patterns of addictions if we start dealing with the root cause of our triggers. When you deal with the ROOT of an issue, then comes the ability to birth freedom, recovery, restoration, deliverance, and well-being; this will happen, not just for us, but for generations to come.
Recently, I heard a story about a young man who became homeless at the age of seventeen. His mother died, and not one of his extended family members reached out to help him. He turned to the streets and used drugs and alcohol to help cope with the loss of a parent, rejection from family, and loneliness. That’s enough to make anyone feel hopeless. Many things can be done to help people and assist with implementing effective strategies to help our society. We can get schools, homeowner’s associations, parks and recreation, community members, churches, boy and girl scouts, and workforces involved to help identify the need, and resources to sustain hope for those who are bound. Let’s reach out and get connected with health care providers, counselors, child and welfare specialists, clinics, and trauma centers and have them host seminars in our community recreation centers, local police stations, and schools. For the Let’s pass out resources and things to help educate those that need it most.
Equally important, we can no longer ignore one of the most enormous impacts on both society and our generation today. The prescription opioid is causing major problems among our young people. We must take a stand and have zero tolerance with the things that are enslaving this generation. I have read, “when we give a helping hand to others, it then becomes an opportunity for grace and growth in each one of us…and that’s one of the most valuable character traits in a child of God.” We have all been in a place where we began looking to fill a void that only God can fill. Romans 12:13 says, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Michael Jackson, the greatest pop artist that ever lived, said it best when he wrote two of his best tracks, “You’re Not Alone” and “Make That Change.” It really does start with each one of you and “if you want to make the world a better place, look at yourself and then make a change”!
Learn more about the Trauma-Informed Approach. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. https://www.samhsa.gov/nctic/trauma-interventions