The word trauma refers to psychological or physical damage that results from a severely distressing event or experience. Persons suffering from trauma usually experience emotional numbness, anxiety, and a pervasive sense of vulnerability or fear. Trauma that occurs in childhood is likely to resurface as an adult. Very often, a sufferer will re-experience the traumatic event in their psyche, particularly when faced with certain reminders of the event (or triggers). Trauma can severely disrupt a person’s life and result in a cycle of fear, isolation, anger, and despair.
Trauma is caused by exposure to any event or series of events that undermine a person’s sense of safety or security. Common causes of trauma include: mental, physical, sexual, and/or verbal abuse; exposure to war or extreme violence; the death of a loved one; medical conditions; and motor accidents. The severity and duration of trauma depends on a variety of factors particular to the individual sufferer’s experience. When a person struggles to recover from the initial shock of trauma, this can develop into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Healing and Recovering from Trauma
Trauma recovery is a complex and challenging process that requires time and genuine self-examination. Healing from trauma begins with facing your past and working through emotions you may feel tempted to repress. Most people who have suffered a traumatic event or experience benefit from the help of a professional counselor, who can guide their recovery process using proven therapeutic methods. It is essential to remember that trauma recovery takes time, and every person heals at his or her own pace.
The feelings of distress and vulnerability that result from trauma often impact the ways that he or she relates to others. It is not uncommon for a victim to lash out at loved ones or to withdraw into seclusion. Because trauma destabilizes the victim’s sense of personal safety, he or she may find it difficult to trust others—even those who have been trusted in the past. The relational impact of trauma will vary from person to person, but all victims need a strong support system in place to encourage their healthy recovery.
By Alyssa Kirkman,
Posted February 5th, 2019
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Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has increasingly become a modern societal health concern, though it has been known under different names for hundreds of years.
A Brief History of PTSD
Historical records suggest that people recognized various trauma symptoms following battle, such as nightmares, difficulty sleeping, or a rapid pulse. After the American Civil War, medical professionals attempted to create a diagnosis, which they called “soldier’s heart,” regarding the cardiac symptoms observed during panic attacks.
Sigmund Freud’s early career focused on studying “hysteria” in women, which he and his colleagues were able to connect to traumatic experiences.
The Industrial Revolution brought “railway spine” in reference to people who experienced railway accidents and suffered ongoing psychological symptoms.
World War I called it “shell shock” or “war neurosis,” and World War II called it “battle fatigue” or “combat stress reaction.”
For decades, traumatic stress responses were seen as a weakness or failing, an inability to face the hardships of life; but after years and years of research and advocacy, we know this to be untrue.
In 1980, the diagnosis “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” was developed in response to the numerous psychological symptoms seen by veterans returning from the Vietnam War. But these symptoms were noticed in civilians as well, who had never experienced military combat — for example, Holocaust survivors.
Lenore Terr documented the long-term psychological effects of the children who were involved in the 1976 Chowchilla Kidnapping, and the feminist movements of the 1970s continued to bring more light to the
What is Trauma Informed Care and Who Would Benefit from it?
By Curran Otis,
Posted January 28th, 2019
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There are many individuals who have faced experiences in life that qualify as a “traumatic event.” Trauma can be described as a physiological and psychological wound. Trauma is a reaction to a perceived or real threat to one’s life or directly witnessing the death or serious harm toward another individual.
The process and exposure to trauma often feels like being knocked off your feet. It can take a while to get to the root of the trauma.
Awareness of one’s feelings, reactions, and recovery are essential to the process of interacting with others from a Trauma Informed Care approach.
What is Trauma Informed Care?
When seeking counseling to help with trauma, finding someone who understands how important it is to have empathy and compassion for the traumatic experiences is essential to healing.
Trauma Informed Care means that you will get to work with a counselor who is willing to meet you where you are and direct you through the trauma journey.
Trauma Informed Care is more than a goal to obtain. It is a lifestyle and way of thinking. Beginning with its foundation, trauma informed care embraces the view that there may be many experiences which have caused trauma in one’s life. Each experience with trauma leaves its own mark and disrupts your feeling of being safe in the world.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2018), a Trauma Informed Care approach has many key approaches to overcome trauma. Some of these approaches are realizing
By Dr Gary Bell,
Posted January 17th, 2019
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I have treated first responders, families, communities, groups, and people of all ages for nearly 20 years involving the outcomes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Acute Anxiety. Trauma is one of the most challenging and rewarding types of mental health treatment there is.
To understand our brain and trauma, one must first look at the biological issue that stems back to our very beginning. For example, let’s say you are a cave person and suddenly heard a loud running noise, saw the bushes being crushed, and then see a Saber-tooth tiger coming straight for you.
After you have figured out a way to save yourself, think of what has happened to your brain. Everything about that event is now stored in the Limpic system, right above your brainstem instead of in the memory glands on the right and left bottom corners of your brain. The purpose is to allow your brain to access this information quickly in order to better survive the next time.
So now every time bushes move, loud, running-type noises are heard, and you see something coming directly toward you, your brain goes on high alert and “fight or flight” kicks in.
In addition, we are always assessing our environment for those things instead of living our lives. Without treatment, the information stays in the Lympic system and as we experience life on a daily basis, we collect more trauma from unexpected events in life, which also builds on the