Trauma Coping Mechanisms: What to Know

trauma coping mechanisms
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No one wants to go through a traumatic event because it leaves you with emotional difficulties. One study shows that about 12 million adults report PTSD symptoms in any given year.

How we cope with emotional trauma makes a big difference in how we heal. That’s why it’s important to avoid negative coping mechanisms.

We’ve put together a quick guide to explain everything you need to know about trauma coping mechanisms. Keep reading to find out how to start the emotional healing the right way and move on with your life.

Coping Mechanisms to Avoid

Sometimes we try to distract ourselves from dealing with trauma by doing unhealthy things that make us feel good for a moment. These are some of the unhealthy trauma coping mechanisms to avoid.


Try not to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family. This often makes things worse by increasing feelings of loneliness.

Hyper Vigilance

Sometimes people become hyper-vigilant after a traumatic event. But this leads to exhaustion, irritability, and even paranoia.

Binge Eating or Starvation

Overeating, emotional eating, anorexia, and other eating disorders are considered harmful coping mechanisms. Doing this doesn’t help heal the trauma at all and leaves your body in a less healthy condition.

Substance Abuse

One of the worst things you can do is turn to drugs or alcohol when trying to heal emotional trauma. You may find yourself addicted and unable to stop using later.

Positive Trauma Coping Mechanisms

On the other hand, there are healthy coping skills you can develop that help you heal. These are some ideas for coping in a healthy way.

Deep Breathing/ Meditation

Take a deep breath and meditate when you feel overwhelmed. This helps you keep calm without the use of outside stimuli.

Pick up Old Hobbies

Why did you even stop painting in the first place? Picking up old hobbies can help boost your healing as well.

Get Involved in a Sport

Playing sports is a great way to stay in shape while getting loads of happy chemicals to your brain like endorphins and dopamine. You also get a great feeling of camaraderie when you play a team sport.

Talk to Other Survivors

Many people find it helpful to heal from trauma by speaking to other survivors. It’s helpful to talk about each other’s types of trauma and healing journies.

Don’t Let Temporary Trauma Turn Into a Life Sentence

Sometimes terrible things happen that throw us for a loop and cause emotional trauma that can last a long time. But it’s important to heal from that trauma and move on with your life.

Keep this article in mind as you traverse your healing journey. That way you can remember which coping mechanisms to avoid and which to engage in.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you understand more about trauma coping mechanisms. If you’re looking for more informative articles about health, education and more check out the rest of our blog today!

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Alice Christina, a seasoned health writer, combines her passion for wellness with a strong foundation in evidence-based research. She crafts insightful content that empowers readers to make informed health decisions. Alice's expertise shines through her concise and reliable health articles.