Holidays can be Extra Stressful for Those Exposed to Trauma

broken ornamentChristmas and the holiday season can be a joyous time to spend with family and friends. But for people who have been exposed to a traumatic event, the holidays may bring up negative feelings. Holiday traditions can trigger memories of childhood abuse or neglect. Parties and family gatherings can remind us of loved ones who have died.

If you have suffered trauma in your past, this time of year may be a good time to talk with a professional counselor, either for the first time or just for a follow up session. Counselors and therapists are easy to find on the internet now. You can find a counselor who accepts your health insurance or, if you do not have insurance, many counselors offer their services on a sliding scale or even for free.

Don’t be shy about asking questions – find a counselor with a good reputation and, most important, with experience dealing with the kind of trauma you have experienced. If you were sexually abused as a child, for instance, ask potential counselors if they have worked with other abuse survivors.

Groups therapy can be particularly effective in dealing with trauma. Group therapy also offers social interaction, which may be particularly helpful during the holidays.

There are several resources available on-line to help with the holiday blues, including the websites listed below. If you are really suffering, call you counselor right away, 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

We wish you all safe and happy holidays!


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (with links to other resources)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

WebMD: Coping With Depression During the Holidays

Dignity Memorial: The Holidays, Trauma and Loss: A Time For Healing And A Time To Make Meaning

Holiday Coping for Trauma Survivors (very good if you have to see your abuser during the holidays)

After Trauma: How to Deal with Holiday Triggers

Holiday Celebration with PTSD

Hard Holidays with Your Child of Trauma

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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