What is Trauma? Are you suffering from it? And how to get help.
Posted on 26th August 2021 at 20:18
Trauma happens in response to a terrible event. Whether it be abuse, assault, having or witnessing an accident, a disaster and other attacks on the person be they physical or on the psyche. Find out more about Trauma, its affects and how to get help in this blog.
To begin with people who have experienced trauma may be in shock and denial and feel nothing at all, they may feel like they are completely fine. This state of numbness can result in memories of the trauma being packed away in the mind, leaving them at risk of surfacing later as when something brings back the memory or event; known as a trigger.
For some people – they live with unpredictable emotions, anxiety, sadness, confusion, agitation, anger, fear, shame or other intense feelings. Others experience blunted emotions, feeling very little at all for most of the time. To outsiders this can look like these people don’t have what we would consider as natural reactions to events and situations.
Physical reactions can also occur such as headaches, nausea, sleep problems, nightmares, eating disorders or persistent fatigue. Flashbacks particularly can be a very distressing effect of trauma where the brain replays the cause of the trauma or the incident.
There are three main trauma types -
Acute Trauma: which is in response to one single incident
Chronic Trauma: which is repeated and prolonged E.g. Domestic violence.
Complex Trauma: which is exposure to many and varied traumatic events.
People will often try to manage their reactions to trauma sometimes thinking their experience was not so bad or "serious " enough to seek help. For others, they may avoid talking about the trauma or situation because it feels too painful or difficult. Then there are those that may feel an intense sense of shame which prevents them from getting support.
There are some who go on for years coping with life and ‘getting on with things’ when, often when they least expect a trigger brings the memories and event to the forefront of the brain resulting flashbacks and the emotional and physical responses we spoke about above. This can feel like being traumatised all over again, especially for people who may have pushed the memory so far out of consciousness that it was as if the original trauma never happened
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the enduring of lockdowns and restrictions resulted in fear, anxiety, loneliness and disruption to normal life. This may have provided the perfect environment for memories of trauma to resurface or for flashbacks to start to happening. People who feel they dealt with something difficult may find they are having reactions again and feeling out of control.
Whatever the trauma was, being alone with it or trying not to think about it does not help. The more a person tries not to think about something, the more the brain will think about it as the brain attempts to process what has happened. For anyone, help is available. Professional help can look to ease the flashbacks and other reactions and responses can be lessened. Counselling, therapy and our specialist EMDR – eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing can help support those dealing with trauma and it’s affects. Call us today on 01159 584278 to discuss your option.
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