Dr. Melissa Tonn, an MD trained in occupational medicine and pain management, currently leads OccMD Group P.A. as the firm’s president and chief medical officer. She additionally holds an adjunct position at the University of Texas School of Public Health, and has also made many noteworthy community contributions. Dr. Melissa Tonn and her practice associates have spent several years supporting the anti-human trafficking nonprofit New Friends, New Life by “adopting” one or more families in need at the holiday season.
Experts point out that Christmas and other joyful holidays can be highly stressful and fraught with conflicting emotions for anyone who has been the victim of trauma. Sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder may feel alienated from the happy experiences of others, or may become depressed.
But there are practices that family, friends, and caring individuals can use to lessen these negative feelings for someone who has been victimized. A few of these are described below.
Make sure to provide a place for the person to retreat to if additional private space is needed. To avoid embarrassment in front of others, it can also be helpful to agree on a signal that the person can use to indicate that they need help in making a graceful exit from an uncomfortable situation.
The person should understand that they have the right to refuse to discuss anything they don’t want to discuss. If they do want to talk about something that is bothering or upsetting them, listen non-judgmentally and acknowledge their experiences. Providing a sense of agency is key.
An experienced physician, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, specializes in musculoskeletal disorders, workers’ compensation and disability cases, and chronic regional pain syndrome.