According to the American Psychological Association (APA), trauma is a person’s emotional and mental response after a terrible event such as an accident, physical or sexual abuse, or a natural disaster. Immediate reactions after such events include denial and shock. Long-term reactions include emotional outbursts, flashbacks, or even physical symptoms such as headaches.
These feelings are normal, and people can have different timelines for recovering from a life event. However, a trained professional can help affected individuals find effective and safe options for dealing with their situation. This is why it is so important to understand what trauma is and to seek appropriate help for it.
On that note, let us understand what traumatic injury is, its symptoms, and the treatment options available.
What is trauma?
The emotional and psychological reaction to an extremely stressful life event is trauma. Examples can include war zones, natural disasters, the death of a loved one, and more. Trauma can cause various mental and physical symptoms.
Emotional symptoms of trauma
- Intrusive thoughts such as flashbacks or nightmares
- Avoid things and people that remind the individual of the traumatic event
- Excessive awareness of danger
- Easily startled or frightened
- Being affected by stimuli that remind the individual of the traumatic event
- Self-esteem issues and guilt
- Having a very small window of tolerance (getting overwhelmed easily or having trouble controlling emotions)
Physical symptoms of trauma
- Chronic pain
- sleep problems
- Digestive problems
Types of trauma
Everyone has varying levels and duration of symptoms of trauma. That is why it is divided into several types. These include:
- Blunt trauma: resulting from a single stressful life event.
- Chronic trauma: caused by prolonged and repeated exposure to stressful life events such as bullying, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.
- Complex trauma: resulting from exposure to many stressful and traumatic life events.
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Many treatment options are available for people to effectively manage and recover from trauma symptoms.
Therapy is a first-line tool for dealing with trauma. Ideally, a therapist who specializes in trauma-focused conditions is best suited to deal with these patients. There are different types of therapy that a traumatized individual can benefit from. These include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This type of therapy helps people change their thinking patterns to positively influence their emotions and behaviors.
- eye movement sensitivity and reprocessingEDMR): This type helps people to briefly relive some specific life event while the therapist directs their eye movements. This is done to help the individual cope and deal with traumatic memories.
Read more: Best online therapy platforms
Medications alone are not able to deal with shock. However, they do help a person manage depression, anxiety, and related sleep disorders.
Disclaimer: The above medicines should only be used after proper diagnosis and discussion with specialists. Unregulated use can be life threatening.
People dealing with trauma need appropriate support and care to recover effectively from their condition. This is why exploring what trauma is and how it affects people is beneficial for everyone. When you know what trauma means, you can spread awareness about a pervasive problem and empower yourself with information and tools to help you and your loved ones.
Now that you understand what trauma is, let us help you understand the different mental health disorders associated with it. Post-traumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder are two conditions closely related to trauma. to know more about it, click here.
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