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Survivor’s guilt: What is it and how to deal with it?

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What is survivor’s guilt?

Survivor guilt is mainly referred to as Survivor’s syndrome in which an individual suffers through a mental condition in which he or she deals with the after-feeling of a traumatic experience. However, this might seem uncommon to some, but even if you take rationally or irrationally –survivor’s guilt is a very natural phenomenon faced by the individuals who have surpassed the hazards caused by –terrorism, natural disasters, combat or any epidemic situations, while the others did not survive. Nevertheless, how relief and appreciated one feels, it is quite difficult to overcome the feeling of guilt.

Tips to deal with the survivor’s guilt:

  1. You need to constantly remind yourself that you can deal with the loss and the feeling of sadness: Often people try to avoid dealing with the loss and sadness caused due to the traumatic incident and cover up with the guilt. Staying in a state of denial is going to lead you nowhere any soon. Therefore, you should try finding ways of dealing with the heavy emotions that are suppressed underneath the feeling of guilt. Find your own ways to deal with your bubbling emotions.
  2. Ask yourself about whose fault it really was: Usually, when a person is suffering from survivor’s syndrome, he or she tries holding on the strings of the lost cause. You need to really ask yourself as to whose fault it was that resulted in a mishap. Often the answers lie in natural disasters, an act of terrorism, or random incidents which could not have been predicted. You should mourn the loss instead of just holding yourself a culprit for the same.
  3. Try doing something selfless to make someone else happy: You need to do something in order to commemorate the loss and honor the ones who were sacrificed in the calamity. Though this is not going to alter the situation completely, will at least give you a reason, to begin with in order to come out of the state of a Survivor’s guilt.
  4. Take proper care of yourself: The last yet very important point is to focus on selfcare after you’ve had a traumatic experience. Your physical and emotional state, both are unbalanced and that is the reason you need to get an adequate amount of sleep, eat properly, go out of your house and try grieving your losses instead of just suppressing it the feeling of guilt. Also, you need to remember that there are people who still love you and are very glad for you to have survived the mishap.

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