Self Help Techniques

What is important if I have been involved in a violent experience?

Accept that it is natural to react

Acknowledge all feelings, thoughts and actions, including those you find frightening and strange. Crying may help.

Share your thoughts and feelings with others

Show your vulnerability, so others do not assume you can handle everything on your own. Accept the support and care of others. If provided with the opportunity, it is beneficial to spend time with others who have shared a similar experience. It is particularly important to share your experience with those involved in the incident, as well as the people who are close to you.

Continue communicating

- even when the novelty of the event has passed. Find someone you can confide in. Every time you express your feelings verbally, parts of the experience are compartmentalised.

Allow your surroundings to react

Allow your children and the people around you to express their thoughts and feelings. Everybody will be impacted by the situation in their own way.

Confront the reality

- preferably with someone you know and feel safe with: Look at photographs, view the damaged or destroyed items, seek out places and people you associate with the incident, return to the place of the incident, if you have lost a loved one, see the deceased and attend the funeral.

Maintain your daily routines

Resume your work as soon as you feel you are ready. If necessary, ask for a special arrangement or “light work”, to ease the hardest time.

Take care of yourself

New accidents - including traffic accidents - often occur after violent events.

Seek recreation

Every so often, ensure that you think about something else, and engage in something enjoyable. Physical activity is recommended as it counteracts stress in the body. Bear in mind that it is okay - and beneficial - to be able to look forward to things in life, both small and big.

Get a good night's sleep

If you initially after the incident experience difficulties sleeping, it may be beneficial to have a little nightcap or consult your doctor for some sleep medication.

Do not run from your problems

When life is difficult, it is easy and tempting to use quick escapes such as medication, alcohol or a flurry of activities. These may be able to dull the immediate pain, but if they evolve into a lifestyle, new problems arise.

Seek help

If you, your family, or your network are unable to help you process the event and your reactions, you should seek help through your doctor or immediate superior.