Recovery from Trauma
Traumatic experiences are extraordinarily stressful events that are capable of shattering a person’s sense of security and wellbeing. These events can be an isolated incident or a series of stressful events. Any situation that leaves an individual feeling overwhelmed and out of control can cause psychological trauma, even if no physical harm is involved. Sources of emotional trauma can include (but are certainly not limited to) the death of a loved one, accidents, broken relationships, natural disasters, deeply humiliating experiences, discovery of a life-threatening illness, or any type of abuse/violence (physical, sexual, and/or verbal).
If you’ve been through a traumatic experience, you may be faced with a number of negative symptoms as a result. Possible reactions could include sadness, fear, anger/irritability,avoidance/withdrawal, feelings of helplessness, emotional detachment, guilt, shame, self-blame, confusion, memory problems, heightened arousal, nightmares, and/or re-experiencing or replaying the event(s). It is not uncommon for individuals to turn to drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behaviors to avoid these negative thoughts and emotions. Trauma can also lead to a spiritual crisis as individuals struggle to find answers to the question of why a negative event has happened to them.
Individuals have the capacity to recover from the negative effects of trauma, but this recovery should not be done in isolation. When left unprocessed, traumatic experiences can continue to take a negative toll on a person’s emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Whether a traumatic experience happened last week or decades ago, it is never too late to seek help. With positive treatment and support from a professional, trauma recovery is possible.