Trauma is our body’s response to a significantly stressful or distressing event, which can completely take over our ability to cope in life situations. Emotional and psychologically traumatic experiences can cause us to feel helpless, inhibit our capacity to experience emotions, and ultimately make us struggle with our sense of security and self.
Traumatic events can include:
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
- Challenging family environment.
- Witnessing or experiencing dangerous or life-threatening situations.
- Invasive medical procedure.
- Natural disaster/war.
Sometimes, our psychological symptoms of trauma can get much worse and manifest into an anxiety disorder, such as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD occurs when any of our previous traumatic experiences can’t be processed or made sense of, which makes these events continue to feel very real – in the form of flashbacks or nightmares – which can leave us with a lasting propensity to feel guilt, isolation and irritability. Other symptoms of PTSD can also be a lack of concentration, or difficulties in sleeping (insomnia). PTSD is predicted to affect 1 in 3 of us who have a traumatic experience, but it’s still not clear exactly why some people develop the disorder and others do not.
How someone responds to trauma is very personal to each individual case. Many will experience a traumatic event and continue living their lives without negative effects. Others will however, go on to experience long-lasting symptoms.
Even if your trauma happened many years ago, there are steps you can take to overcome the pain, learn to trust and connect to others again, and regain your sense of emotional balance. It is normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event and most people improve naturally over a few weeks. If this is not the case, you do not have to let a painful past live on to create a painful future.
The effect of traumatic events in life can cause long-lasting harm developing into such things as anxiety disorders, depression etc. By looking back through these negative events and dealing with each one systematically, the symptoms can be successfully overcome.
We all have the ability to leave things in the past once we have accepted them.
Living with the symptoms of trauma can be extremely challenging, however, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK, our belief is, ‘it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe that everyone can successfully overcome their mental health issues if given the right help and support. Read more…
The child has grown
If you are scared of something, is your younger self still trying to protect you? That child saw things differently than the way you would see those things now. Be kind to your younger self, they got you through the storm.