If you have experienced a traumatic situation and you can’t seem to get past it, you are not alone. Learn more about trauma’s impact on mental health, and find out how you can effectively treat trauma and live a happy life.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma happens when a person experiences an event that is life-threatening, extremely dangerous or severely emotionally disturbing to the point that it causes a disturbance in everyday functioning. Some people can accept trauma better than others. Most people are overwhelmed by traumatic experiences for some period of time after the trauma occurs.
Some traumatic experiences might include the following:
- Abusive or violent situations
- Witnessing crimes or having crimes committed against you
- Accidents, injuries or illness
- Loss of a loved one
- War experience or battle experience
- Having trauma happen to a close loved one or hearing stories of trauma repeatedly
You do not have to be in immediate life danger for an event to be traumatic. As long as your subconscious mind perceives an event as threatening it may lead to a traumatic response.
How Does Trauma Affect Daily Life?
If you have been traumatized in the past, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Anxiety or depression
- Sleeplessness or constant tiredness
- Reactions to frightening stimuli or overreacting to stimuli that remind you of the trauma
- Fear of things that remind you of the trauma or avoidance of things that remind you of the trauma
- Blocking out or purposefully forgetting the trauma
- Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder
- Drinking, using drugs or engaging in risky behavior to cope with or forget the trauma
- Physical symptoms such as body pains, headaches and stomachaches
- Relationship problems and low self-esteem
Treatment for Trauma
From new types of psychotherapy to new drug treatments, there are many new treatments for trauma including the following:
- Solution-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy for trauma
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Brief psychodynamic therapy
- Relaxation and meditation mindfulness
- Medication management of symptoms (as needed)