Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
If you have gone through a traumatic experience, it is normal to feel lots of emotions, such as distress, fear, helplessness, guilt, shame or anger. You may start to feel better after days or weeks, but sometimes, these feelings don’t go away.
If the symptoms last for more than a month, you may have or are suffering from delayed reaction to the event this has been labelled by the medical profession as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event.
A traumatic event is a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood.
Trauma is an extremely subjective experience. What may be traumatic for one person may barely affect another.
In a general sense though, trauma results when you experience excessive stress that overwhelms your emotional or physical ability to cope.
While emotional trauma can result in the absence of any physical trauma, many times the two go hand-in-hand. For instance, the wounds from physical trauma like the loss of a limb or a car crash, while an obvious shock to the body, will eventually heal. What the person is then left with, however, are the emotional wounds and repercussions of the actual traumatic event.
Psychological trauma can last for many years, and if unresolved, can even become more devastating than the original traumatic event
What Are the Symptoms of Someone who has been traumatized?
Any Traumatic experiences can produce emotional, cognitive, and physical repercussions. Emotionally, trauma victims can and do become anxious, depressed, fearful, and withdrawn. They can lead to constant nervosas and recurring panic and anxiety attacks.
Mentally, if you have experienced a trauma you will likely also experience concentration problems; you could have problems remembering things, and feel distracted much of the time. In extreme cases, people experience flashbacks of the event, nightmares, amnesia, and intense feelings of guilt. Physically, many people have eating and sleeping problems. They are regularly exhausted and often, they develop unexplained chronic pain. This can also lead to extreme mood swings causing Anger or Depression.
Trauma can affect anyone at any age. The effects can be mild or severe, creating extreme psychological issues. Any symptoms of trauma should be taken seriously. In some cases however, the effects of trauma can manifest months and even years after the event, so in actuality, it can be difficult to recognize the symptoms.
Don’t compare yourself too others.
Often people feel they are weak for needing help, especially when they compare themselves to others who may have endured the same traumatic experience. But it is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to trauma and there is no guideline as to how and what someone should feel.
What we do know is that the sooner you deal with the symptoms of trauma, the better chance you have for a full recovery and to be free of the effects of these events.
If left unresolved, emotional trauma can affect your daily choices and functioning and ultimately, it can manifest into serious psychological disorders with lasting effects.
Just as we need help to heal the physical effects of trauma, we also need help to heal the emotional wounds. Counselling offers a safe and supportive environment to work through these issues.
Who can suffer from Trauma?
Anyone who was a victim witnessed or has been exposed to a life-threatening situation. Survivors of violent acts, such as domestic violence, rape, sexual, physical and/or verbal abuse or physical attacks. Survivors of unexpected dangerous events, such as a car accident, natural disaster, or terrorist attack. Combat veterans or civilians exposed to war.
People who have learned of or experienced an unexpected and sudden death of a friend or relative. Emergency responders. Ambulance Gardai Firefighters, Medical indeed any individual who help victims during traumatic events. Children who are neglected and/or abused (physically, sexually or verbally).
Counselling for the Resolution of Trauma
Often medication is prescribed for Trauma victims. This may help with some symptoms but not all. Counselling offers the individual the support and help to regain control and make safe the emotions and effects.
Offering new ways of coping and indeed a better outlook on life and establishes a deeper sense of safety for the individual. Overall the individual becomes a stronger, less fearful individual. It helps to face our fears when reminded of events that origanally caused the trauma.
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