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My daughters traumatised!(25 Posts)
(Apologies if too long winded)
My DD (late 20’s) went on a supposed holiday of a life time to Bali for a month.. she had made so many arrangements to meet friends from different parts of the world and she was excited if a little apprehensive when she set off.
Unfortunately she was only out there 3 days when last Sunday’s earthquake took place, she was actually on the GiliT island which took the brunt of the tremors.
She was in her hotel room and couldn’t get out as the doors wouldn’t open, there was water coming in, so she ended up smashing the patio doors. Everyone was running for the hills in fear of a tsunami... buildings collapsing around them. Once at the top of the hills they had little to no water, food, shelter from the sun for nearly 2 days whilst being terrified the whole time. There were constant aftershocks which set everyone screaming and running and they all believed they were going to die.
Rescue boats eventually came and it was every man for himself people fighting with each other in their desperation to get on, people were being pushed off of the boats, she then had to endure 8 hours on the evacuation boat on rough seas caused by the earthquake with the fear of a tsunami. She escaped Bali when she could get a flight and flew to stay with some friends determined not to cut her holiday short.
We have Skyped several times a day and I have to say I am really concerned for her mental well-being, she is totally traumatised!!! She isn’t sleeping, waking constantly because she’s convinced that her bedroom is moving.
Thankfully she’s now decided she wants to come home because as much as she’s trying to enjoy it she can’t, she feels that the holiday is ruined because she can’t stop having flashbacks.
Now I know she’s coming home I want to do everything i can to ease her pain and lessen any scarring to ensure she doesn’t suffer any life long PTS symptoms, any suggestions, advice or help would be very gratefully received. X
Allow your precious girl lots of time to talk about her experiences.
Poor thing! Reassurance when things become too much for her.
How horrible. She needs counselling. Even if she thinks she doesn’t.
That must be horrific, she should definitely go for counselling. I'm
It surprised she's traumatised, who would've be? What an awful thing to experience. I'm sure you were terrified for her safety too. Hope she feels better soon
Thank you, I agree totally with the counselling, is it better to do this through a Dr? X
Her reaction is perfectly normal under the circumstances. Once she's back home she might be a lot better as she will.be in a "safe environment. I agree that If she still suffers flashbacks etc once she's home and settled then she should get some help but hopefully some time will do it's work.
I hope she gets home without further incident.
I live close to Christchurch, and was here through the earthquakes - something like 16000 (no typo) aftershocks & still the occasional one now, over 7 yrs later Counselling is a great idea; the widespread ptsd here wasn't immediately addressed so you are in a good position to help her. Don't be surprised if all sorts of things trigger a response in her - rumbling trucks, planes, other noises...
Yes she’s said motor bikes, doors shutting, any sudden noise...has her trembling.
I’ve been looking it up and apparently if you already suffer with anxiety or depression a trauma would have much more of an impact. I think it would be fair to say she does suffer with anxiety at times.
I read an article recently which showed that playing Tetris can help reduce the symptoms of PTSD (I just googled it and there are loads of articles about it). So yes, definitely counselling and home, but in the meantime, she might be able to download Tetris onto her phone to help her manage her symptoms until she gets home safely.
What a terrifying experience. I bet you can’t wait to have her home.
If she’s in a heightened state (jumpy, nerdy, easily startled) it can be really useful to start a meditation practice. Even a very basic one (SmilingMind app?). For at least the time she’s doing it, it should bring her down a few notches. As she keeps doing it, it should increase the calm periods. It really isn’t a ‘woo’ thing, it’s very well-evidenced mental first aid. You don’t have to believe in it, you just have to do it.
Increasing the chances of a good night sleep will help a lot, too. Carby dinner, herbal tea, massage, less screen time.
I suffered medical PTSD and these were the keys to reducing flashbacks and hypervigilance.
For you, I’d recommend helping your DD balance two main things. Talking about trauma can be good, but too much is bad. Since it’s such a dramatic international media-covered story that she was a part of, it’s likely everyone she knows will be asking for details. Help her realise that repeating it over and over makes the grooves in her mind deeper. Better to debrief properly with an experienced professional and then channel her energies into returning to ‘normal life’ for a while. Perhaps she could consider volunteering/fundraising for the many now-homeless and grieving Indonesians? Once she’s feeling calmer?
Wishing you both a peaceful reunion.
*nervy. Nerdy is a perfectly fine thing to feel!
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She definitely sounds like she has PTSD, and CBT would probably help this and her underlying anxiety
I have a friend whose dd was travelling to Bali last weeekend but advised her to stay in KL for a couple of days to re-evaluate the situation- she's now in Bali and seems to be having a great time but the poor mother is beside herself with worry- despite Bali (Seminyak) being 200 miles from Lombok
At least your dd can come home
OP, I used to work with people who had been through similar experiences. My advice would be:
- let her talk about it with you. Try to keep yourself calm, I'm sure you're upset too, but she needs to talk it through rationally
- get her back in to normal life. Be gentle but don't overly coddle her - e.g. still ask her to wash the dishes (or whatever is appropriate!). Treating her like an invalid will not help. Time with friends and family, routine, exercise, healthy food are all brilliant healers.
- try and gently find out whether what she's experiencing are flashbacks (which are terrifying, literally seeing, hearing smelling what happened and thinking you're back there), or just moments where she can't stop thinking about it
- if flashbacks, she needs early counselling. If not, I would say this is a really normal reaction. Give her a month from the date of the earthquake. Most people who go through trauma find that a month later they're getting back to normal (which doesn't mean perfect). If she's not getting there, get her counselling at this point.
And ignore the 'grow some balls' comments. Im sure in time she'll see that she was not as badly affected as others, but it's perfectly ok for her to feel shocked and traumatised now.
A friend of mine was in the earthquake and said it was absolutely terrifying - and he's been in several earthquakes before. Please ignore caroldecker's ignorant 'grow a pair' comment.
Some really good advice here. I'm sorry this happened to her. I hope you're OK too. It must be awful knowing your daughter had such a scary experience.
Ignore the pp who made the completely ignorant comment about "growing a pair" for a start. That's not how recovering from trauma/PTSD works, funnily enough
Therapy is so important for recovery- I would encourage her to seek a decent therapist who is experienced in dealing with trauma asap. I would also recommend grounding activities, as other pp have mentioned.
In addition to this, I would add give herself (and you) time- something terrifying like this takes time to process. If she's suffering right now, that's normal under the circumstances. However- as long as she takes care of herself and seeks support, she will be ok x
Caroldecker go back under your naice bridge would you.
OP I’m not surprised she’s traumatised bless her, definitely go for counselling via gp, my cousin and his girlfriend were abroad a few years ago and ended up in the middle of a terrorist attack, they were fine luckily but saw others killed and I don’t think they’ll ever get over, obviously a different situation but still the fear of thinking you’re going to die and the sooner she can get home and get counselling the better
Your poor DD - of course she'll be in shock after such a traumatic experience.
I live in Japan and went through the March 11 quake - luckily quite far from Fukushima but still the biggest earthquake I've ever experienced here.
Of course, in Japan earthquakes are frequent so I was used to them, to a certain extent, but still it was pretty terrifying.
Hope she can get counseling and start to overcome what she's gone through
Many people live there and have to go back. Tell her to grow a pair and be delighted that is not her life. Insist she raises money to support those who live there and have lost their homes and livelihoods. I hope you or your children never have to endure a traumatic experience. What a nasty attitude you have.
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Ouch! Caroldecker you are NOT very a very nice person are you? ☹️
I have lived through a series of earthquakes and lost a sister as a result. It is extremely traumatising and your Daughter needs to rest and just talk. Her experience has been horrendous because she had no family around when it happened
Needs lots TLC. She will be jittery and frightened eg car or trick rumbling by or thunderstorm. The Red Cross may help with talking if she wants to talk. There is some evidence that routine counselling can increase the trauma by re-experiencing it. Talking to others who have lived through the experience will help.
A check with her GP would be a great idea |- she has been physically as well as emotionaly traumatised.
If you need to PM me feel free.
The jittery ness and jumpiness will settle but needs time
Dr Peter Levine Waking the Tiger is a really good book describing the physiological impact of trauma, worth a read for you at least, maybe your DD and definitely caroldecker
Just ignore the hairydecker!
Your DD does not have PTSD because this happened less than a week ago and if she did, it's CBT or EMDR, not 'lots of counselling'.
Your DD had a terrifying experience. It's good that she tried to continue her holiday but if she needs to come home to feel safe then she's doing the right thing. You must be desperate to give her a hug. She just needs some time and to feel safe. The way she is feeling is absolutely normal given the experience she has had. Just let her be at home and potter. Hopefully she will recover in her own time. If you're still worried in 4 weeks, see the GP, don't assume this will be necessary. Has she experienced any previous significant trauma?
Your dd will feel a lot better once she is home. You can organise counselling and she should make a full recovery. I am not surprised you are concerned for her, assuming she is on her way home it won't be long before you can support her.
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