Overcoming Discrimination

Steps to Recognize and Cope with Racial Trauma


Racial trauma is a type of stress and anxiety that can occur due to an experience with racism. Racism results from oppressive practices carried out by individuals or groups to control another group through systematic subordination. Racial trauma comes from such experiences and causes anger, fear, sadness, guilt, and shame. A person can be traumatized after one incident or overtime when dealing with constant racial oppression. If you believe you have been exposed to racial trauma, there are steps you can take to cope and begin recovery.

Racial trauma can be defined as the emotional and psychological distress that occurs when exposed to racial stressors. Racial stressors, such as discrimination and harassment, can lead to anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety. Individuals who experience chronic exposure to racial stress are at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD). If you have experienced trauma due to race or ethnicity, it is important to know how best to cope with your emotions to reduce your chances of experiencing negative outcomes.

person can be traumatized

Racial trauma and coping brochure

Many people of color experience racial trauma. Mental health professionals suggest that this is due to the constant exposure to racism, discrimination, and microaggressions. In addition, the trauma can result from many things, such as being shot by police officers or witnessing a loved one being gunned down in front of them.

To cope with this type of traumatic event, it is important for the person experiencing it to know their rights and have resources available to them to get help as soon as possible. One way someone may seek help from mental health professionals is through therapy sessions with a therapist who understands how race plays into their experiences every day. It’s also helpful if those experiencing these events have family members or friends willing to listen.

Racial trauma in the United States is a persistent problem and one that often goes unnoticed. Racial trauma can take many forms – it could be rooted in racist experiences of microaggressions. However, recognizing racial trauma can help you cope with your emotions and begin to move forward.

Ways to cope with racial fatigue

Racial trauma is a form of psychological distress that can arise from being exposed to or involved in racial situations. Racial trauma has been defined as “experiences and lasting effects resulting from exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, violence, or violation based on race.” The public needs to understand the symptoms of this type of stress to seek help if necessary. In addition, individuals who have experienced discrimination may experience anger, anxiety, and depression which could lead them down a dark path if it goes untreated.

Racial trauma is the pain, stress, and damage accrued from exposure to racial incidents. Racial trauma can be caused by interpersonal experiences with racism or witnessing racist attacks on others. Symptoms of racial trauma include anxiety, hypervigilance, restlessness, fearfulness, and anger. To work through these symptoms, it is important to recognize that they exist and take steps towards coping with them.

The first step in recognizing your symptoms of racial trauma is identifying what you are feeling when experiencing those symptoms. The next step would be finding a support group for people who have similar feelings about their race, so you don’t feel alone in your experience lastly if you become overwhelmed with emotions following an incident where someone was acting out against another person.


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