Trauma is universally defined as an experience that leads to emotional distress or disturbance. It is an experience that every individual goes through at a certain point in their lives, feeling that their safety or life has been threatened in an overwhelming manner. Regardless of what comprises the term trauma, it is an experience that varies from one individual to another resulting from an extremely stressful event that often leads to feeling vulnerable and helpless, shattering one’s sense of security.
RISK FACTORS OF TRAUMA
There are those who are more prone to suffering from trauma than others; severity can be determined by a host of factors, which can include one or more of the following:
- The break up of a significant relationship
- A humiliating or deeply disappointing experience
- The sudden death of someone close
- Serious illness
- Bullying, mobbing
- During Childhood: Separation from a parent
- Growing up in an unsafe or unstable environment
- Sexual, physical, or verbal abuse
Not all potentially traumatic events lead to lasting emotional and psychological difficulties. Some people can effectively manage to bounce back from some of the most shocking and tragic experiences of life, making sure of the psychological resources with which they are equipped.
However, while so many individuals may be able to bounce back from traumatic events successfully, there are still a number of individuals who are left feeling overwhelmed and devastated. How a person copes with (or fails to cope with) with a trauma boils down to resilience – the ability to bounce back from an adverse situation effectively.
Another factor that determines how prone one is experiencing trauma depends on their history: if a history exists where they have been traumatized in the past, their tendency to experience trauma again, especially if their past trauma has not yet been resolved. Unresolved trauma instills a fundamental sense of helplessness and fear which carries on into later life, setting the stage for the experience of future trauma. Recovering from a traumatic event takes time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace. But if months have passed and your symptoms aren’t letting up, you may need to consider getting help.
SYMPTOMS OF TRAUMA
The symptomatic presentation of trauma can vary from individual to individual. The most-common symptoms experienced include:
- Social anxiety + insecurity
- Shock, denial, or disbelief
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Panic attacks
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulties in functioning at home or work
- Prolonged griefing
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Withdrawing from others, emotionally numb, pessimistic view of self and the world
- Difficulty trusting
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Edginess and agitation
- Racing heartbeat
- Aches and pains
- Using drugs or booze to feel better
It’s important to remember that recovering from a trauma takes time, but whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and bring peace, balance and harmony back into your life.
ARE YOU READY TO START IMPROVING THINGS NOW? Then check out the EMDR® TRAUMA RESOLUTION THERAPY, a 90 min individual session. For more information click here.