What is Trauma?
Trauma is an emotional response to any terrible past events like harassment, natural disaster, accident, or sudden demise of loved ones. Some may experience trauma just after the incident has occurred, while others would face it after some years. Certain long-term reactions to trauma like flashbacks, unpredictable actions, and problematic relationships are challenging to handle.
Experiencing physical symptoms is quite common in such a mental condition, like nausea or headache that can affect a person's day to day lives. Traumatic events often occur when an individual experiences trauma that is life-threatening or physically, and emotionally abusing.
When in trauma, you will feel a range of emotions like the feeling of helplessness, isolation, sudden mood swings, and panic attacks too. The symptom may differ according to the severity of the condition, affecting a person's overall well-being. If the symptoms persist for an extended period, then it's suggested to go for proper treatment.
Here is a list of signs of trauma to help you understand better:
Symptoms of Trauma:
- Unexplained aches and pain
- Racing heartbeats
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Self-blaming and shame
- Social anxiety or fear of going out
- Irritation, anger, and mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Feeling disconnected or hopeless
The leading cause of trauma differs from everyone, and as a result, there are several forms and types of trauma depending on the severity of the situation. They are, as follows:
- Acute Trauma: It happens because of a dangerous event, and doesn't last for a long time. Acute trauma can be treated by therapies or self-care.
- Chronic Trauma: It occurs because of prolonged and continuous exposure to a highly stressful event. This type of trauma is faced by domestic violence, sexual assault like rape, bullying at the workplace or college, and child abuse.
- Complex Trauma: It is a severe condition. You must take instant professional care as a complex trauma occurs due to multiple events and can affect the person's mental state adversely.
Some individuals even experience vicarious trauma. This happens by staying in close contact with someone who is experiencing traumatic events for a long period.
You can improve your quality of life and cope with trauma by taking treatments at the right time. Medication, however, won't work effectively as it just manages the symptoms and disturbances.
Many individuals get depression or anxiety due to traumatic events. They continuously experience negative emotions like numbness, sadness, and shame. As there are lots of emotional outbursts, a therapist will go for Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Alternative therapies for trauma includes REBT, EFT, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. In therapy, one can change their thought pattern by recognizing the emotions and core problems. Hence, assisting traumatic memories get easier.
Counseling outcomes for Trauma:
- Self-acknowledgment: Due to one to one therapy, the therapist will listen to you without any agenda. The session will help you to speak about your problems to recover quickly.
- Understanding your trauma: As the symptoms start triggering, it gets difficult to understand what your trauma is. You will feel helpless, along with the feeling of anger, despair, and fear. If the past incident is powerful or hard to get over, you will require some strategies. The more and more you talk about your problems to a therapist, the better you will understand your triggers.
- Overcoming underlying problems: A knowledgeable therapist will dive deep into the memories to dig out the core problems. Hence, it will help you relieve the accumulated stress and get out of the toxic shame zone.
- Re-building on personal growth: Severe trauma affects a person's individual development and relationships. It changes the way someone perceives itself and can turn into stress or disaster anytime. But with the therapy, you can start with your life and shape it all again with the new start.
- Coping techniques: As trauma affects the way an individual looks towards the world, it gets challenging to interact with everyone. But the coping skills will help you manage negative issues and deal with the fear practically.
- Tips to overcome traumatic experiences: If you are suffering from trauma, then the first thing you need to do is keep yourself physically fit. Being more active will release happy hormones to help you relax and reduce stressors. Try getting asleep in a comfortable environment and avoid caffeine as much as you can.
Try speaking about your traumatic events to a person you trust, because bottling up emotions will just make it heavier. Take your time; talk to a therapist, if you don't have any person to share your problems. A therapist will help you understand your triggers that are causing you panic and stress.