How Does Trauma Impact Mental Health

Trauma is a word often heard in the media to describe an event or experience that has had a significant impact on someone’s life. Trauma is actually more common than you think. A traumatic event can be anything from a car accident, to being in the military, or being sexually assaulted. Trauma that includes multiple, repeated events or long-term exposure to psychological or emotional abuse is often referred to as complex trauma. 

Knowing how to properly cope with trauma can be tricky. This article will discuss signs of trauma and what to do if you’ve experienced trauma. 

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a response to a deeply distressing event or experience. The experience of trauma is universal and can happen to anyone, anywhere. 

It can be caused by many different events, such as experiencing or witnessing violence, being in a natural disaster, or living with an alcoholic or abusive family member. The International Society for Trauma Stress Studies defines trauma as a response to a “shocking and emotionally overwhelming situation that may involve actual or threatened death, serious injury, or threat to physical integrity”. 

A person who has experienced trauma may have difficulty regulating their emotions and have trouble sleeping or concentrating on tasks. They may also feel numb and disconnected from others, avoid situations that remind them of the event, and experience flashbacks related to the trauma.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Trauma?

The word trauma is often used interchangeably with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). Some people who experience trauma develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but not everyone. Some people who experience trauma may also develop acute stress disorder. 

PTSD is a long-term mental health condition that can last for months or years after a traumatic event has ended. The two main symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks and nightmares, which can happen both during the day and at night. These symptoms usually occur within three months of experiencing a traumatic event but they can also occur later on in life if someone continues to experience other traumatic events or reminders of the original incident. 

Acute stress disorder symptoms are experienced immediately after, usually within 30 days, of a stress-related traumatic event. Acute stress disorder symptoms can include flashbacks and nightmares, as well as severe anxiety and dissociation. 

For those who do not exhibit symptoms of PTSD or Acute stress disorder, but may have experienced trauma or a traumatic stressor, symptoms can include anger, anxiety, dissociation, stress, fear, irritability, shame, shock, confusion, and sadness. 

How Does Trauma Impact Mental Health?

Experiencing trauma can lead to other mental health struggles including depression, anxiety, and substance use. Depression is the most common of these conditions to occur with PTSD, as it is estimated that up to 80% of people with PTSD will also have a major depressive disorder (MDD). Depression symptoms include feeling sad or hopeless and having low energy levels. Anxiety is also a common condition among those who’ve experienced trauma. Anxiety symptoms include feeling tense, stressed, or nervous, and having trouble sleeping. Substance abuse problems such as alcoholism or drug use may be used as a way of coping with these symptoms, but this only makes trying to cope more challenging.

How is Trauma Treated?

When we are faced with a traumatic event, we often feel like our lives have been turned upside down. Trauma can affect us in many ways and it can be hard to know what to do next.

The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal. There are many ways that you can do this, from talking about your trauma with friends or family members to seeing a therapist or attending a support group. It is important that you find what works for you because it will help you get back on your feet more quickly.

Sometimes more intensive, specialized treatment options are needed. Individualized trauma treatment programs can include psychotherapy, group therapy, support, psychiatry, and holistic therapies. Specialized trauma treatment can also include utilizing trauma resolution modalities like Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing. 

Casa Recovery is one of the best rehab centers for healing from trauma. Trauma is a mental and physical injury that is not easily forgotten, and it can affect our day-to-day lives. Casa Recovery offers holistic treatment for trauma, specializing in trauma resolution of the mind and body. Our team of experts is made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists with decades of experience and expertise. 
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to get started on your healing journey. A caring, kind member of our admissions team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about staying with us.

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