While trauma can be the cause of many different mental health issues, it can also create specific symptoms for people at any stage in their lives.
Trauma, in mental health terms, is an emotional wound. It is just as damaging as a physical one, but it cannot be seen and it is often overlooked or misunderstood.
Trauma can occur from a one-time event; for example, a person may see a violent crime or be a victim of crime, there may be a fire in the home, or a person may experience an unexpected death in the family. These issues can create a deeply distressing or disturbing experience for that individual.
For another person, trauma may occur over time. These can be people who have witnessed multiple disturbing events, such living in a war zone or a high-crime environment. Someone who has been bullied or harassed for an extended period of time can live in a constant state of trauma, where the issues that are occurring are simply overwhelming and cannot be safely processed by the mind.
As these individuals continue to live their lives other things may happen, events that have a resemblance to those past, unhealed traumatic events. This can trigger anxiety, stress and an emotional response that seems out of balance with the event being witnessed or experienced in the current time.
Other people experiencing this same present event but without the past trauma in their lives will not react in the same way. This difference in reaction causes further anxiety in the person suffering from trauma, and may lead to feelings of being different, alone or not being understood. For many people these reactions will be hard to understand, but all these responses are valid for the person living with trauma.
Symptoms of Trauma
The common symptoms of trauma can be physical as well as emotional. It is not unusual for people to feel sad, helpless or hopeless, to feel angry without a specific reason, or to have feelings of guilt about things which are beyond their control. Emotional swings and sudden and unpredicted negative emotions at different times are also common symptoms.
The physical symptoms of trauma can include headaches, muscle and back pains, digestive problems, sleep problems or nightmares. Some people may also experience flashbacks where they see images of a traumatic event they remember, or they may visualise them as a dream or a partial memory.
There are several different options the therapists at Mayfair Therapy Practice use with clients in the treatment of trauma. For significant levels of trauma including the treatment of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is highly effective, and can show marked results in just a few short sessions.
Other effective options in talking therapy include CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which links thoughts and beliefs to behaviours. This allows people to examine trauma in a safe, therapeutic setting and and process it completely. From there the therapist and the client can develop new, effective forms of behaviour that can be used in the future, preventing negative thoughts and behaviours from the past form taking control.
If you are looking for help with issues based around trauma, or upsetting or negative events in your past, we may be able to help.
Contact us by email or call us on 07809 668193 to find out more, and to arrange contact with one of our trauma specialists.