Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are many things that can cause trauma in a person’s life. Bullying, violence, physical abuse in adulthood and even early childhood abuse are all traumatic experiences that people go through, and they can make navigating through everyday situations challenging and complicated. To overcome these, trauma treatment may be required.
Psychological (or emotional) trauma – also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – is damage or injury to someone’s psyche after experiencing an extremely frightening or distressing event, and it may result in challenges in functioning or coping normally after the event.
Each person will experience trauma in a unique way, and as a consequence, each person will react differently. Some people will go on to develop signs and symptoms of trauma early on after an event has transpired, while others might be affected by past experiences later in their lives.
Whatever is the case, traumatic experiences can frequently involve life-threatening events, and many scenarios where trauma occurs (especially ones where the experience is completely unique) can leave a person feeling isolated and alone.
It’s important to remember that, when it comes to trauma, it’s not just objective facts that determine how traumatic an experience is. An overwhelming and stressful experience for one person might be an everyday experience for someone else. The level of emotional response is subjective to the person. Oftentimes, the more helplessness one feels in any given situation, the higher the level of traumatisation they’ll experience.
Mental health and trauma
Unfortunately, trauma has a severe knock-on effect on a person’s entire life, and more often than not, those who attend rehab for trauma are experiencing dual diagnosis – they are suffering from other things like mental health concerns. Treating the whole patient, then, rather than the individual signs and symptoms of trauma, is imperative to helping a person conquer their trauma for good.
Traumatic stress can lead to many mental health issues, including:
- Severe anxiety
- Feelings of shame, hopelessness and despair
- Extreme stress
- Self-destructive behaviours
Trauma can, of course, also lead to the formation or many negative habits as a means to escape psychological feelings that might be present. Many people who are suffering from trauma also may suffer from:
- Alcoholism or Substance abuse
- Sex or process addiction
- Impulsive behaviours like gambling
- Eating disorders
To overcome these things, and to get to the root cause of a traumatic event, it’s important to seek help as early as possible. At Salt recovery, a person can receive tailored treatment that helps them not only overcome their trauma, but that also addresses the reactionary mental health and addictions that may be present, too.
When to seek professional help for trauma
It takes time to recover from trauma, especially if co-occurring issues are present. Not only does one have to conquer the root cause of their trauma, they also have to overcome their addictions, too. On top of this, everybody heals at their own pace, and it’s important to recognise that it’s a process that occurs over time, rather than a quick-fix cure.
It can be difficult to know when exactly to seek professional help for trauma. But, if you are experiencing any of the following, it’s often a sure-fire time that you need to seek professional help. Are you:
- Having trouble functioning at home or work?
- Suffering from severe fear, anxiety or depression?
- Unable to form close relationships?
- Experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares or flashbacks?
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma?
- Emotionally numb and disconnected from others?
- Using alcohol or drugs to feel better?
Working through trauma alone can be scary and intimidating, and often, it can be difficult to understand exactly what you’re feeling without the right professional help. That’s why the help of an experienced trauma specialist that we provide at Salt recovery is essential.
Treatment for trauma
To heal properly from phycological or emotional trauma, you’ll need courage enough to face up to your past experiences that you might be hiding from. As difficult as this sounds, the right environment can allow you to uncover these experiences in a safe and comfortable way.
Signs and symptoms of trauma
Cognitive signs:Nightmares, insomnia and broken sleeping patterns, Intrusive thoughts of the event that may occur out of the blue, Visual images of the event, Loss of memory and a lack of concentration, Disorientation, Confusion, Mood swings, An overwhelming sense of fear about certain activities, Obsessive and compulsive behaviours, Detachment from other people and emotions, Emotional escapism and numbing, Depression and anxiety, Irrational thinking and irritability, Shame, Panic attacks, Possible survivors’ guilt if the person survived something when someone else passed.
Physical signs: Edginess and easily startled, Severe fatigue and exhaustion, Tachycardia, Chronic muscle patterns, Sexual dysfunction, Changes in sleeping and eating patterns, Vague complaints of aches and pains throughout the body, Extreme alertness, always on the lookout for warnings of potential danger.