Treating trauma

How do know you whether you have trauma?

You may be the one to notice that you are bothered by something or that you have problems, but it may also be your parents or teachers at school who notice this. Often, the first action taken is visiting a general practitioner or the Youth Care Agency (Bureau Jeugdzorg). If they find that you might have incurred trauma, you will be referred to a psychologist and/or psychiatrist. By conducting interviews and tests, they will examine where your problems come from and how you can be helped.

Will it go away?

Fortunately, something can be done about these negative feelings. Treatment can be helpful to many people.

Treatment

When your problems are better identified, a psychologist will work with you and your parents to design a good plan to help you feel better. You may also go in to speak with a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a doctor who decides whether you might also need medication to help you feel better. However, medication is not always involved in treating trauma.

For yourself

  • (Cognitive) behavioural therapy: Behavioural therapy helps you learn how to deal with trauma on your own. This means that you talk about what happened and how you felt about it. You can discuss why you feel so bad. Having a clear memory of what you experienced, can allow you to learn that it is over now and that you no longer need to be afraid.
  • EMDR: EMDR (Eye Moment Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy can also help you learn how to deal with trauma. In it, you talk about what happened and describe or make a drawing of the worst moment. In the meantime, you do something completely different, like tapping your hands on the table. This will ensure that you won’t always get the same bad feeling when you think about the event.
  • Medication: You may also be given medication, but psychiatrists don’t tend to prescribe medication for trauma.Click here for online assistance.

Environment

If home is not a safe place for you, everyone has to help make it safe. Psychologists can talk to the whole family and the people around you that can give you the support you need. Not one but several sessions are necessary for this purpose.

Would you like to talk to someone about it? You should! Find a friend or adult whom you trust, or call the Children’s Hotline (kindertelefoon).

Would you like to know more about trauma?

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