Trust Issues After Trauma

Trust Issues after Trauma

One of the most complex human emotions is trust. Trust is the strong belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. Trauma can disrupt the emotion of trust, and this can have a lasting impact on a person’s life.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma can occur for many reasons, but all trauma is the result of a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Trauma is defined as emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury. Different causes of trauma include the following:

  • Blunt trauma
  • Physical assaults
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Sexual assaults
  • Witnessing horrific events
  • Natural disasters
  • Significant emotional distress

What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

One of the most common effects of trauma is the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that can occur after experiencing physical or psychological trauma. War veterans and assault survivors are especially susceptible to developing PTSD. PTSD symptoms fall into the following three main categories:

  • Reliving the event
  • Avoidance
  • Arousal

Avoidance is closely related to trust issues, as a person may search for an outlet he or she can rely on for symptom relief. A person may desire to become emotionally numb, and PTSD sufferers may choose to excessively drink or use drugs as a way to numb themselves.

Dealing with PTSD or Trauma and Rebuilding Trust

There are many ways to cope with PTSD and restore trust after trauma. The following actions are effective ways of coping with PTSD:

  • Learn relaxation skills
  • Speak to a therapist
  • Join a support group
  • Take part in positive activities
  • Become more spiritual
  • Journal about thoughts and feelings
  • Lean on the support of those around you

Taking part in one or many of these activities will help restore a sense of reliability to one’s life and help a person find trust after traumatic incidences.

Counseling for Trauma and Trust

Before you risk self-medication as a way to deal with your lack of trust or difficulty managing trauma, consider getting counseling help. Cognitive therapy can help a person better understand and change how he or she thinks about trauma and its aftermath. Exposure therapy is designed to decrease your fear and lack of trust. In an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) session, you may be thinking of or talking about the trauma while simultaneously focusing on other stimuli like eye movements, hand taps and sounds. This helps you desensitize and process feelings about your trauma.