How to Overcome Trauma in 2021
Trauma is something explored both in the media, at school and by experts. As we accept the realities of mental health more, people open their eyes to the range of issues people face – such as trauma. However, trauma is unique for every person, so many people may not even know that the way they think or feel could be affected by trauma.
If you want to learn more about trauma – from an expert therapist who has worked with numerous clients – please keep reading. Increasing your knowledge around trauma and how it affects us mentally and physically will help you recognise the signs in yourself and others.
What is Trauma?
Trauma can be defined as when a person goes through an extremely stressful, frightening or distressing event(s). When people talk about emotional and psychological trauma or traumatic events, we often mean situations we find traumatic or how we have been affected by a traumatic experience.
Traumatic events aren’t tied down to any particular age or moment in our lives; instead, they can happen at any time and have a long-lasting negative impact on our mental health. The way we react to trauma is individual as well – some people may show signs of trauma immediately after an event, while others may appear fine for ages before the trauma of their experience catches up with them.
Symptoms of Trauma
Understanding the symptoms and signs of trauma will help you recognise if yourself and others are suffering from trauma. Trauma isn’t limited to the short-term and can appear months or years after a traumatic event and cause long-lasting harm to your happiness and mental health, changing the way you think, feel and behave.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Flashbacks: you may relive aspects of traumatic events and feel like it is happening in the present. These can happen even if you have forgotten or blocked out details of the event.
- Panic Attacks: this is a fear response and an exaggeration of your body’s response to danger, stress or excitement.
- Dissociation: your mind may try to cope with the overwhelming stress by making you feel numb, spaced out or even detached from your body and the world around you.
- Hyperarousal: feeling on edge, anxious or unable to relax can be a sign of trauma as you are always on the lookout for threats or danger.
- Sleep Problems: if you find it hard to fall or stay asleep, feel unsafe at night or anxious about nightmares, this could signal trauma.
- Low Self-Esteem: many people facing trauma have reported self-esteem issues, which affects the way you value and perceive yourself.
- Grief: people often face trauma when they lose a loved one or experience other types of loss. As a result, they are faced with overwhelming grief, which affects their mental health and behaviour.
- Self-harm: you may hurt yourself as a way of trying to cope with your trauma. Often, this includes harming parts of your body that were directly attacked or involved in the traumatic event.
- Suicidal Feelings: if you think about ending your life or methods of suicide, then this is a huge indication that you need support for your trauma. You can contact Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 or [email protected].
- Alcohol and Substance Misuse: many people may try to cope with the emotions and memories of trauma through alcohol and substance misuse.
Therapy for Trauma
For people facing trauma, EMDR therapy sessions can be the choice for addressing and overcoming this mental health concern. During EMDR therapy sessions, your therapist will help you relive moments of trauma or triggering experiences in short, manageable bursts while directing your eye movements. The therapy’s eye movement aspect is thought to be effective as it lessens the triggering feelings and thoughts of trauma as your attention is diverted. By utilising this type of therapy, you can work through traumatic events and reduce their impact on your mental health.
EMDR therapy is hugely beneficial for people facing trauma, such as PTSD, to address past experiences without feeling overwhelmed. When we live with trauma, it can be difficult to face what we have experienced and overcome the emotions and thoughts it causes. Working with a therapist through EMDR allows you to recall traumatic experiences, talk about their impact on your life and mental health without feeling overwhelmed. For many people, the idea of reliving traumatic experiences can be intimidating. Still, EMDR is the best way to address and overcome trauma and the fear, grief or misplaced guilt associated with it.
If you are interested in learning more about trauma, its impact on mental health, and how you can overcome it, please contact me today. With extensive experience and qualifications in supporting those suffering from trauma, I am prepared to help every client down the path to a better future.