Part of being a good person means helping emotionally scarred people heal if you have the chance to do so. It means helping out whenever you can and making sure people can heal from their trauma. But that’s no easy task, and it requires a great deal of emotional intelligence to overcome trauma.
As you probably know, people can be emotionally scarred for many reasons. Often, these issues stem from childhood, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Being betrayed by someone in your life can be just as damaging. As a rule of thumb, life is messy and painful. That’s because people are often mean and look out for their own interests.
That doesn’t mean everyone around you is a bad person. It just means that, when push comes to shove, people will take care of themselves no matter what. Because of that, others will likely get hurt. And you know how this goes, as you’ve surely gone through something like this. You know how bad it hurts when you are going through a traumatic experience. So, if you don’t want the people you know to go through that alone, you need to learn to help them.
Why Do People Get Emotionally Scarred?
Psychologists use the term “emotionally scarred” when referring to someone who has undergone psychological and emotional trauma. What’s important to note is that this trauma is something that weighs a lot in someone’s life. We’re not just talking about getting emotionally hurt because someone was mean to you once. We are talking about something that left such a mark it affected who you are on a fundamental level.
Being emotionally scarred means that you will face challenges in functioning normally. It means that you are unable to cope alone, and, in extreme cases, you might never properly heal. Trauma is something that affects your life so drastically that you will never be the same again. Trauma is often associated with life-threatening events, but that’s not always the case. Even neglect and bullying can lead to emotional scarring. Still, anything involving physical or emotional abuse ranks high on the list of traumatic experiences.
The Impact of Trauma in Life
Especially if you go through these experiences as a child, you are less likely to know how to deal with them alone. Plus, it’s important to note that there are still many overlooked causes. Even things like surgery can cause trauma. Psychology has evolved and psychologists are more aware of what counts as trauma. They are more aware that people can get hurt out of a myriad of causes. For example, cases of repeated bullying make people close off.
A few decades ago, a bullied kid would have been told to suck it up. Now, people know better and understand that bullying is not something to be brushed off. Because of that, kids who are going through such an event often get at least some degree of help. But that’s still not enough sometimes. While psychologists might be aware of the dangers of traumatic events, society is still averse to psychology. While young people are openly raising awareness for mental health, some older generations are wearier.
Some people find it hard to understand how trauma can so deeply affect someone. This can get even more confusing when looking at the symptoms. A friend or even a parent might not be able to understand why scarred people act the way they act. Among the symptoms are anxiety, fear, anger, confusion, mood swings, sadness, and withdrawal. These symptoms may appear to be just someone acting out when in reality they are signs of trauma.
Because of that, some emotionally scarred people don’t get the help they need. It’s not enough to have psychologists that can help out, as some victims don’t even reach out to get help. So, that’s when you can step in.
3 Ways to Help an Emotionally Scarred Person Heal
You likely know someone who’s going through a rough time, so that’s when you can step in and help them out.
1. Get an Emotionally Scarred Person Out of the House
One of the best things you can do for someone who is going through a traumatic event is to help them stay active. Don’t let them lock themselves in their house and limit contact with everyone around them. While it can be good to be alone for a little while when you are dealing with someone, it’s not good to push everyone away. If someone emotionally scarred further isolates themselves, they might never find the strength to heal.
If you know someone like that, someone who doesn’t go out and talk to people anymore, reach out to them. Even if they don’t pick up the phone or answer your texts, you can always swing by their house. Just bring them some food and hang out with them for a while. This way, you can make sure they don’t stay isolated. With your help, they can still stay active and be a part of society.
Even something small like taking a walk or going grocery shopping with them makes all the difference. You also need to encourage them to stay physically active. You could even offer to go to the gym with them. All these little things will help them slowly get back on track. While these gestures won’t heal their emotional scars, they’ll still help.
2. Make Sure They Stay Healthy
Often, people going through traumatic events don’t have the power to properly take care of themselves. They’ll barely eat, or only eat junk foods. They won’t hydrate well enough. Sometimes, they will even go days without taking a shower. Obviously, this affects their physical health. But that’s not the only bad effect. When someone doesn’t take care of their physical health, they’ll also feel bad psychologically.
When you don’t exercise, don’t eat well, and don’t take care of yourself, you’ll undoubtedly feel worse on a psychological level. If someone you know is experiencing trauma, you need to make sure they are still taking care of themselves. Make sure they at least have healthy groceries in the fridge. Or, if you can, cook some healthy meals and take them to the person in need.
If you have the time, go clean up their place and make sure everything is in order. Make sure they’ve showered and exercised for at least a little bit. Exercise is probably the most important thing you need to convince them to do because even a short walk can release endorphins. So, if you get them to work out, their mood will improve significantly.
3. Listen to Them Discuss the Trauma (if they want to!) and Offer Your Support
No matter how hard you’ll try, you’ll never be able to heal someone else’s wounds for them. Your only duty as a friend is to make sure they get on the right path. In a way, you have to help them heal themselves. Sometimes, the best thing to do to help someone else is to just listen to them. Some emotionally scarred people won’t want to talk about what happened, and you shouldn’t force them to.
But you can still be supportive by just being there. Maybe they aren’t ready to talk about the past, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a friend. Everyone needs someone they can just hang out with. Maybe they just want to vent about their day or talk about anything else. Maybe they don’t even want to talk at all, but they just want someone to be there.
Even watching a movie together can make them feel like they’re not alone anymore. It’s also important to remember to keep things as normal as possible. Don’t be too pushy and don’t ask things you shouldn’t know. But, at the same time, encourage them to get out of bed and be productive. For this to work, it’s important to learn what their triggers are. Understand how they act when they feel uncomfortable and know that’s when you should stop pressing.
You should always be supportive while allowing them to cope at their own pace. Listen and make sure they have all they need. And, when the time is right, advise them to reach out to a professional. No matter how good of a friend you are, you still might not be enough to make sure they properly heal. They need to see someone who is specialized and can properly take care of them.
Final Thoughts on Some Ways to Help an Emotionally Scarred Person Heal
Emotionally scarred people need all the support they can get to heal from the trauma they went through. No matter what their trauma was, they still won’t be able to go through it alone. Traumatic events take a real toll on someone, sometimes even rendering them unable to function properly. That’s when you can step in and make sure you get them back on track.
Even though you won’t be able to heal them, you’ll still be able to help them heal themselves. A person who is struggling with trauma will usually be scared, anxious, moody, angry, and try to isolate themselves from the world. But that’s not what they need to get better. Don’t let them push you away through this behavior. Remember that during this period they won’t be able to think rationally.
They won’t know what they need and they won’t ask for help, often because they’ll be embarrassed to do so. So, you need to take action and step in. One of the most important things you can do is make sure they still take care of their physical health. Make sure they eat healthy foods and they still exercise. You can even ask them to go on walks with you. You also need to make sure their house is clean and they still take care of their hygiene.
Making sure they don’t isolate themselves is just as important as making sure they stay healthy. Don’t let them hide in the house for days on end. Go on walks, go to a park, or even do more social things, like going to the movies. Lastly, you need to make sure you are there to listen to them and offer your support. Don’t push them to do things they can’t do, like making them talk about their trauma too soon. Just be there to listen whenever they decide they are ready.