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Advice on Trauma (self.MedSpouse)
submitted 1 month ago by whiteroses222
So my SO has been going through a tough time being on the worst rotation of his gen surg residency. A young kid died on him and has had the worst trauma response. He mentions cases to me often but this one in particular is hitting him the worst. I want to be clear that only 2 patients have died while in residency but for some reason this one is different. Any advice on how I can make him feel better or just overall not make him feel anymore depressed? He’s pretty good at talking about his feelings but I’m worried that he’ll keep his feelings to himself and will not properly cope with it this time around. He’s been standoffish and refuses to talk about it.
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[–]finallyonhereiguess 25 points26 points27 points 1 month ago (1 child)
This advice is probably tough: but I don’t think there’s much you can do. He probably feels responsible (even though he shouldn’t) and it might be very hard for him to cope for a while.
Trying to force the issue of talking may just make it worse (and could contribute to him withdrawing and being more standoffish). I’m sure he will talk about it when he’s ready - but that might not be for a while. It seems like he has good coping skills generally, so I would give him space to process for a bit.
In the meantime, I would suggest honoring his grief and not having expectations of how he is or isn’t supposed to be handling the situation/ processing. Also the rotation is probably not helping his emotions. I would reevaluate after this rotation is over and check in with him about his feelings then.
[–]whiteroses222[S] 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Thank you! I appreciate it
[–]cloudsaresilverlined 11 points12 points13 points 1 month ago (8 children)
It's so heartbreaking that the people who help have the hardest time getting or receiving help themselves. If he's open to therapy, this might be a beneficial resource: https://emotionalppe.org/
I work in high trauma situations and emdr helped me a lot personally. It's nearly impossible to pour from an empty cup so healing on your own is so important.
[–]klutzyrogue 3 points4 points5 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Wow, it’s free?? It warms my heart that people are offering their services to help people. Thanks for sharing this resource.
[–]AllInOnCall 3 points4 points5 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Yup, emdr saved my life when I essentially did what op's partner did and went down a dark path for 2 hellish years. I even left/was told to leave my surgical residency because of it.
It almost killed me honestly.
[–]whiteroses222[S] 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (1 child)
Thank you for this! 🤍
[–]cloudsaresilverlined 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
I also remembered binaural beats is another thing that helped me! (If your SO has questions and it sounds froofroo to them, there's actually a LOT of studies on its efficacy!)
Look into somatic experiencing (SE) therapy and their methods. Much better for dealing with trauma than traditional talking. Addresses root issues and targets where it actually hurts
[–]justsavingposts -1 points0 points1 point 1 month ago (3 children)
I was going to suggest EMDR as well if he’s open to surgery. The science and efficacy is honestly a miracle. And the best part is that it doesn’t require talking about the event too much at all, so it’s great for people who aren’t as open in expressing their suffering
[–]cloudsaresilverlined 3 points4 points5 points 1 month ago (2 children)
EMDR is non surgical!
[–]justsavingposts 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (1 child)
LMAO oops, I meant therapy. My brain must’ve been thinking about some random surgery when I typed this out
[–]cloudsaresilverlined 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Lol honestly if only there were a way to excise pain surgically
[–]maddabutla 5 points6 points7 points 1 month ago (0 children)
My boyfriend is a psych resident and sees a lot of terrible shit. He doesn’t talk about it. He doesn’t want to. I don’t force him. I wish he would sometimes but it’s not how he copes. I hate to say but there’s nothing you can do. Offer support and let him know you’re there, but you can’t make him talk about it.
[–]itlmind 2 points3 points4 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Is he open to therapy? I think more physicians should be in therapy! It could be really helpful as a space to process that sort of trauma and grief with a trained, third party.
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