6 Ways Of Surviving Survivors Guilt
Survivors guilt, which is usually related to PTSD, occurs when a person feels guilty because they survived a potentially fatal event when others did not. We can be thankful when adversity hits and we escape undamaged. However, we may also feel guilty, wondering, “Why not me?” The person perceives that their survival is due to anything they did wrong and that they should have prevented the catastrophe from happening.
Survivors’ guilt is commonly triggered by plane crashes or deaths among military members while deployed, individuals who have lost their loved ones due to Covid-19, but it can also be experienced as a result of other, less obvious situations. This can lead to a serious threat to your emotional wellbeing.
Essential themes revolving around survivor’s guilt.
You may feel guilty for surviving. If you were safe and sound while others suffered, you might believe that you did not deserve it and that damage should have come to you as well.
You may feel guilty about what you “should” have done and regret that you did not do enough to prevent the tragedy from happening. You feel that you should have done more to avoid or correct the situation. If you attempted but were unsuccessful in saving someone, guilt might build up as a result of emotions of failure.
You may feel bad about what you did. You may feel guilty about acting in self-defense, such as pushing people out of the way to flee an imminent calamity.
Feeling unworthy, confused, or even unwilling to continue living are among symptoms of survivor’s guilt. Isolation and self-blame arise. Avoidance is a prominent motif among survivors of survivor’s guilt.
5 ways of Surviving Survivors Guilt.
- Consider who is genuinely to blame for the occurrence. When you’re feeling guilty, try to remember who, if anyone, is to blame. Many disasters occur as a result of factors beyond our control. Nothing and no one could have forecast or prepared for natural calamities such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and tsunamis. Do not accept responsibility for the loss; instead, mourn those who were harmed while acknowledging that you were not to blame.
- Consider your relatives and friends who care about you and how they feel about your survival. Remind yourself of the individuals who would be crushed if you died, and how relieved and grateful they are that you lived. Practice viewing your survival as a gift and sharing it with others you care about.
- Remind yourself that you can deal with the loss and the sadness that comes with it. Everyone grieves in their unique way. Grief is a vital element of the healing process after a loss. Focusing on guilt rather than sadness may harm one’s emotional and psychological health over time. Not moving on is a risky approach to deal with sorrow, and it can contribute to further drug and/or alcohol usage.
- Self-care is essential. You must take care of yourself, both mentally and physically, if you have survived a devastating occurrence. Self-care, such as getting enough sleep and eating healthily, exercising, soliciting and accepting support, and seeking assistance, is critical to recovering.
- Do something meaningful and influential for someone else. Guilt may be a motivating component in our efforts to improve our lives. Using guilt to memorialize people who have died can provide a feeling of purpose and direction.
The guilt of the survivor is misplaced blame. While guilt can push us to change, it can also lead to unhealthy coping practices. To numb the agony, drinking or using medications merely inhibits what has to be released and healed. Self-care is essential for dealing with negative emotions and avoiding drug and/or alcohol addictions.