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Common Stigmas Related to Trauma

Common Stigmas Related to Trauma

It is not uncommon for people who have experienced trauma to be stigmatized. They often face statements like, ‘are you not over it?’ ‘what you went through wasn’t that bad,’ ‘you should live your life as if nothing happened.’

Although these statements appear harmless, they stigmatize trauma victims, affecting their recovery. This article covers the common stigmas associated with trauma and how victims can deal with stigmatization. 

Understanding Trauma and Stigma

According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event. This could be an assault, war, a natural disaster, an accident, etc.  The events may result in shock and denial, and the person affected might also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, panic attacks, etc.

Stigma is a negative attitude or discrimination against someone based on a distinguishing characteristic, such as a mental illness. When a statement downplays a person’s trauma or makes the victim feel like they should be ashamed, it is stigmatization. So, what are the common stigmas associated with trauma? 

4 Common Stigmas Related to Trauma 

People dealing with trauma often face stigma from family members, friends, community, and colleagues. Stigma takes different forms, and below are the four most common ones related to trauma. 

  • Public Stigma: People endorse a stereotype and discriminate against people dealing with a particular trauma. An example is the stigmatization of rape victims, where the victim often gets blamed. 
  • Self-Stigma: This stigma involves the victim internalizing the negative beliefs of others about them. Self-stigma often leads people to believe they deserved the traumatic experience they went through. 
  • Structural Stigma: This stigma occurs when social and institutional policies and practices limit the healthcare coverage available to trauma victims. 
  • Label Avoidance: This stigma results from a trauma victim choosing not to get treatment to avoid getting labeled and becoming a social pariah. 

How to Deal With Stigma Related to Trauma

Stigma can hinder your recovery if you do not recognize it and get the needed help. First, get information about trauma and mental health, and speak out when you feel stigmatized. Also, have compassion for yourself and others dealing with trauma and other forms of mental illness. Finally, get professional help.

If you or a loved one are dealing with trauma-related stigma, our mental health experts at Ketamine & Wellness Clinic of South Florida can help. We will show you healthy ways to deal with stigma and overcome your trauma. Contact us today to learn more about our services.