Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.
We know about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with its flashbacks, anxiety, depression, anger and mood swings, and withdrawal. But there's another side to surviving trauma and I'll call it Post-traumatic Wisdom or PTW (my term). It comes from our ability to learn, grow, and develop.
The ex-wife remembers what didn't work in her marriage and changes behavior, so as not to repeat the fights, shame and rejection of the past. The formerly abused child is careful to avoid bullies and confront people who try to take advantage. He's determined to be warm and kind with his children and a good, safe role model. The person who almost lost his mind to drugs metes out prescription meds carefully and sticks with natural approaches to pain. The war veteran chooses avoids unnecessary risk, joins supportive groups and basks in the love of family. They all have bad memories and don't dwell on them but distract to the present and remind themselves of the preciousness of the life they can choose now.
Many of the wisest people around know how to think, feel, act and organize their lives in a sane way based on the insanity of life which they have experienced. There's nothing good about the trauma they survived, but the wisdom they have now keeps them strong for the future.