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Copyright © 2017 Connexion Psychological Practice Ltd.

Trauma

Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinary events that may break your sense of security and well being. These often involve events that may have been life threatening or overwhelming to a point that it traumatizes and frightens you every time you are reminded of the event or anything similar to it.

 

Different events that may cause trauma may be:

  • Violent or disastrous events such as an accident, injury, natural disaster, or violent attack

  • Ongoing events such as living within an abusive household or batting a certain illness that is painful or life threatening

  • Sudden events such as the death of someone who was close to you, the breakup of a significant relationship, or an embarrassing and humiliating experience from the past.

If the event happened repeatedly or suddenly, it is most likely to cause someone trauma. It is more likely that the degree of trauma will be heavier if anything similar happens again to you in the future. Trauma is very common for children especially the ones who grew up or were around people who neglected or physically and sexually abused them in the past. Non abusive events such as a major surgery, separation of parents, or death of a loved one may also influence their trauma. This can be devastating for them as they grow up since they will constantly be reminded of those past events.

Symptoms of common trauma may include:

  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating

  • Feeling depressed or hopeless

  • Guilt or shame

  • Edginess or agitation

  • Muscle tension

  • Anxiety attacks

  • Insomnia or nightmares

  • Being startled easily  

Treatment:

Following trauma, the most important thing is to talk to reliable people about the situation. Connecting to others will help you heal faster, but isolation will only make things worse. Make an effort to start relationships with new friends or support groups who can give you the advice and help you need to start over again. Looking for support can be sharing your feelings and worries to someone that you can trust and will not judge you. Joining a support group can be an even faster way of healing since you will get the chance to connect to others who have shared or have been in similar experiences. Having new friends that you can relate to will make you feel like you are not alone, and that in fact many other people have been through the same thing before. This idea is comforting for many people who have gone through trauma since they feel like they are not alone and isolated anymore.

Seeing an experienced therapist or trauma specialist can also be another alternative for reducing and healing from trauma. Seeing a therapist will let you open up about the experience and will be similar to having someone that you can trust to understand and listen to your feelings. Building up a good relationship with the therapist is also important since you need to feel comfortable enough to share your deepest thoughts and also feel respected and safe at the same time. Therapists may also offer a line of different treatments such as:

Somatic experiencing: Focuses on body sensations. By concentrating on what is happening in your body, you can release a large amount of stress, anxiety, and other trauma related energy through shaking and crying.  

Cognitive behavioral therapy: Helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about trauma.

These treatments help release any unwanted stress and emotions that may trigger old memories and trauma. It will also drive out unpleasant feelings and help you build more trust in other people.