Posted in emotions, Expression, Healthcare, Life, Psychosis, Relationships

Basics of Trauma & Crisis

We are taught so many life lessons, but not how to deal with trauma and crisis – both of which are inevitable.  At some point in time you, or someone you know will experience trauma or crisis.  Unfortunately, we are not prepared to handle such situations.  Some of us are less prepared to support people who are going through such situations.  It is very difficult to address anything when you cannot properly if you cannot identify what it is.  Lets go over what trauma and crisis are, and discuss some things that can be done.

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Photo by Aaron Moeller

Trauma

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.

Crisis

Crisis occurs when unusual stress temporarily renders an individual unable to direct life effectively.  As the stress mounts and the usual coping mechanisms provide neither relief no remedy, the person often experiences extreme feelings of grief, hostility, helplessness, hopelessness, and alienation from self, family and society. Stress can be a reaction to a single event or to several events occurring simultaneously or serially Greenstone, J. L., & Leviton, S. (2011).  Crisis can occur when a loved one gets sick, or divorce, death, loss of employment.  Sometimes these life altering events happen all at once or in tandem.  The stress of keeping things afloat through the crisis can become dangerous when it appears there is no resolution in sight and energy steadily depletes.

Isolation

photo of man leaning on wooden table
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When we don’t recognize what trauma and crisis looks like, we cannot manage it; nor can we provide effective support to our loved ones.  It can be difficult and debilitating; therefore, we cannot expect someone to just “get over it.”  This statement can cause further alienation.  The fight for normalcy and consistency after a traumatic even or crisis can last for a long period of time, depending on what caused it.  Healing is not linear.  We cannot place a timeline on healing and expect to be over a traumatic event or crisis after a predetermined amount of time.  It doesn’t work that way.  It’s a dichotomy of reality.  The survivor must go on in every day life: the world around them has not changed, but inside,  they have changed and have trouble reconciling having survived the event and moving on.  Their perception changes as the experience becomes a part of them after the experience disrupted their  life as they knew it.  Therefore, it is difficult for them to find equilibrium between their experience, identity and environment.

Triggers

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Triggers are a common occurrence for survivors of trauma and crisis.  The effects can come and go much like an ocean tide or it can be like spontaneous reaction to anything like a certain smell, or sound (like a song playing), texture etc.  The senses can trigger a flash back causing the survivor to relive the trauma or crisis all over again.  This can last indefinitely and can leave others confused and bewildered at the behavior of a survivor who was fine one minute but is not the next.  Someone who exhibits this behavior should be treated with patience and compassion because reliving a traumatic moment is not something anyone can just “get over.”

What can we do?

  1. Changing the way we look at the situation is key: this is not the type of situation someone can just get over and survivors may need more than just time to heal.
  2. Identify triggers: instead of reacting to the survivor’s reaction, ask them what just happened/what changed and listen to what they have to say.
  3. Ground them.  Triggers make the survivor relive the trauma. Getting the survivor to recognize the here and now will bring them out of reliving the moment.  A simple way to do that is to get the survivor to run cold water on their hands.  I have provided a resource for other quick grounding techniques below.
  4. Suggest they talk to someone.  There are free 24hr services provided for people in crisis or have suffered trauma via phone or via text.
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This time of year can onset crisis or trauma whether it be the anniversary of the death of a loved one, or traumatic event like an assault.  Check on one another, and keep in mind there are free confidential resources that are accessible  24 hours a day if needed.   If you have any questions, concerns, or anything to add, please comment below.  Be well.

Resources


https://www.apa.org/topics/trauma/

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/trigger

https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques#soothing-techniques

https://www.crisisconnections.org/24-hour-crisis-line/

https://www.crisistextline.org/

 

 

 

Posted in beauty, Health, Healthcare, natural remedies, skin care

Masking It with Groceries

Skin care is a vital part to beauty.  If you have healthy and clear skin, layers of makeup are not necessary.  Believe it or not, you may not have to look beyond your 9e1b70a785b19d7d_shutterstock_124965608refrigerator for effective beauty masks that make your skin healthier.

There are two particular face masks I use regularly that are tried and true.

Egg Yolk Mask:

 

Sounds gross, but it is amazing.  Take an egg and crack it placing the contents in a bowl.  You may beat it and make it frothy, if you like.  Spread it across your face and carefully avoid your eyes.  The consistency will feel a little slimy at first, but it will dry.  Once it dries your face will tighten significantly.  Once it is completely dry, (I usually wait about 10-15 minutes), gently wash it off in a circular motion.  Try to avoid your hairline, because that could become cumbersome.  Voila!  Nice fresh skin.

Coffee and Milk Mask:

coffee_grounds_x6Coffee is great as a scrub and milk contains lactic acid which is an active ingredient in spa grade skin peels.  This mask is fantastic but it can be messy.  Place four table spoons of coffee grounds in a bowl.  Add milk slowly while stirring it until it makes a paste.  Add more coffee if the consistency is too fluid.  Add more milk if it is too hard and thick.  Apply the paste onto your face.  Make sure it is in the bathroom as it may drip a little.  It will eventually harden once dry and you may experience a little tingly sensation from the lactic acid.  Sitting with the mask on anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes is acceptable.  When ready wash it off with warm water while gently massaging the coffee grounds into your skin.  This mask is great for exfoliation and revitalization which makes up for the mess.

Honorable Mention:

1-lemon-wedges-on-white-background-colin-and-linda-mckieLemon Juice! Although it is not a face mask, if you can stand it, it can clear up trouble spots on your face.  If your skin is misbehaving, lemon juice is a great astringent.  Citric acid, which is also found in spa grade peels, are great for zits, wrinkles, and hyper pigmentation.  Make sure your face is clean first.  Take a cotton ball and soak it in lemon juice and apply it.  It will almost immediately tingle. Try to withstand the tingling for at least one minute.  I usually fan my face so that I may hold out a bit longer.  Then wash your face with lukewarm water.

Give these natural face masks a whirl.  It just may be the beauty hack of all beauty hacks that have you looking nice and glowing for a mere fraction of the cost of beauty products.

Posted in Healthcare, Life

5 Things You Should Do When You Receive a Medical Bill:

1.  Call the doctor’s office

If you do not understand what you are billing for, ask the doctor’s office. Although we rely heavily upon computers and information technology, we cannot take for granted the information we are being given is correct. Not only do people make mistakes, in this day and age in the ever changing world of health care, but computers do too. For that very reason, it does not hurt to call the doctor’s office and go over statement to be certain the amount due, in fact, your responsibility.

2. Call the insurance company.

Remember, you are a subscriber to your insurance plan and are entitled to a detailed explanation on how your visit was processed. There is a Member Services telephone number printed on the back of your insurance card. Don’t be afraid to use it and interrogate the insurance company like a parent wanting to know where their child had been because of broken curfew. Compare notes with the representative to the statement in hand for inconsistencies. * If there is an inconsistency, ask the representative to conference call you in with the doctor’s office to insure you are all on the same page.

3. Take Notes

Jot down the names of everyone you spoke with and ask for a reference number for the phone call. It is not unusual for a medical claim to come back to haunt you after having been reassured things were resolved. Computers and people make mistakes. If you come across another statement you have all your references together to them where to go…. To speak with whomever it concerns, of course.

4. Ask Questions about that particular service

Often you may end up having to pick up the tab for certain services that aren’t considered part of a doctor’s office visit. For example, when a patient sees the doctor and the doctor runs a necessary diagnostic test every time a patient comes to monitor their health, this might generate additional copayments or a deductible charge weeks after a patient was seen. IF you happen to be a frequent flyer type of patient, it wouldn’t hurt to look over that portion of what you may be held responsible for down the road.

5. Make a payment plan

If you’re like me, and are not part of the 1%, you can get taken aback at the cost of your stint in the hospital, MRI Center, blood lab, etc. To avoid collections and all other nightmares that follow, request a payment plan. A small percentage monthly beats 100% of nothing and all providers dig that. If you’re on a fixed income, apply for hardship and they will certainly work with you. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.