Are You a Victim of Secondary or Vicarious Trauma? by Jill Raguel
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
All of us were shaken up by the senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas; I certainly was. But, some may be even more upset because they have vicarious or secondary trauma. By that I mean you have been traumatized by listening to friends talk about the shooting, or watching too much violent TV. If you start playing the incident over and over again in your mind, even though you were not there, you may be traumatized. This is very true for those of us, like me, who are highly sensitive. I discuss this in my book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery.
Another example: if I watch the late-night news I can start to dream about it. Or, if you watch a fire, or accident, or shooting repeatedly on TV, you may start to get stressed as if it happened to you.
So, in this violent time, what can we do to take care of ourselves?
First, limit the amount of violent news and movies that you watch. And, certainly do NOT watch before you go to bed. You may have trouble going to sleep, or you may have violent dreams.
Second, try using Rescue Remedy available in most health food stores. Created by Dr. Edward Bach, the Remedy comes in drops. I suggest putting a couple of drops in water and drink. I carry a small bottle of Rescue Remedy in my purse. You can also get Rescue Remedy Pastilles in several flavors. They come in a small tin you can carry with you to pop in your mouth when you’re feeling anxious.
Third, try using 4-7-8 Breathing. Dr. Andrew Wyle suggests breathing in for four counts, holding for 7 and breathing out like you are blowing out a candle for 8. Do that four times, twice a day. That relaxes, reduces anxiety, lower blood pressure, and helps you sleep. You can Google 4-7-8 Breathing and watch Dr. Wyle’s video teaching that breathing technique. Then if you are still having trouble seek professional help.
Jill Raiguel, MS, is a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has practices for over forty years. She is currently practicing at Rosewood Counseling in Upland, California. The author of several books and articles, she has trained and taught trauma release work nationally. She is known for her innovative life skills work with survivors of abuse and alcohol. Her book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery is available at http://amzn.to/2zbVnft. To learn more about Jill go to www.jillibean.com.
Note from Linda: I love Jill’s advice. I use the Rescue Remedy Pastilles all the time. A natural alternative to Xanax. For helping with vivid dreams, I have a Native American Dream Catcher on my headboard and use Young Living Dream Catcher Essential Oil www.LindaLysakowskiEssentialOils.com every night. And do not watch late-night news. Happy dreams.