Trauma doesn’t have to be a long-term sentence—so here’s what we’re doing about it

The word “trauma” can evoke different experiences for different people—a past sexual assault, the death of a loved one, an abusive parent. When it comes to experiencing trauma, no two people’s experiences are ever the same. And over the past few months, due to the devastating effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we—as a society—have undergone (and are still undergoing) a wide-ranging trauma that can feel impossible to carry.

Since the end of February, millions of Americans have gotten sick or died from the virus, stable jobs have disappeared, and physical contact has largely come to a halt. In addition to all of the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the death of George Floyd has led to new heartache and rage. We’ve protested against corrupt systems, signed petitions to defund the police, and called on problematic figures to stand down from their pedestals of “power.” But even though our country needs this revolution to happen, these events can be tough to endure, evoking painful memories and bringing new, difficult realizations to the surface for many people.

But trauma—whether it’s losing a job or reliving past racist encounters—doesn’t have to define who we are as individuals. Instead, it can be used as an opportunity for growth.

That’s why the HelloGiggles team is launching a week-long series for PTSD Awareness Month called A Time to Heal. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results from experiencing traumatic events, and according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, seven or eight out of every 100 Americans will experience PTSD in their lives. To bring attention to this issue, we’ll be publishing stories throughout this week that discuss the effects of PTSD and trauma. We’ll also provide resources on healing, from a guide on how to deal with emotional triggers head on to an explainer on why meditation can be a great way to handle pain.

Keep checking back this week on our site and on our Instagram to learn how to start a new relationship with any trauma you may have experienced, whether these past few months or years ago. While healing from trauma is never a linear journey, we hope these tools can provide some comfort and allow you to take back the control that was taken from you—for good.

trauma, ptsd, hellogiggles