Trauma is defined as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence to self or close family members or friends. Trauma can take many forms. Trauma can be associated with the loss of a loved one, sexual assault, domestic violence, hate crimes, car accidents, physical injuries or illnesses, or even harassment in the workplace. Trauma can affect the individual, their families/loved ones, and even entire communities. Treatment can help trauma survivors experience healing and recover a sense of well-being.
Re-Visiting Traumatic Incidents
Many individuals will re-live the traumatic incidents in various ways including Intrusive memories and flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of distress or anxiety when exposed to triggers or the opposite reaction of of avoidance and numbing.
Intrusive symptoms include:
- The physical reaction to exposure is much like a panic attack including racing heart, sweating, heavy breathing, racing thoughts, and guilt
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating
- Hypervigilant (feel as though you must always be “on guard”)
- Easily startled – jump at loud noises or environmental changes
- Irritability and angry outbursts
Avoidant symptoms include:
- A sense of a “limited future” such as a fear dying young, soon, or suddenly and difficulty contemplating long term goals such as career, marriage, children
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Difficulty or inability to recall large or small details of the trauma
- Feeling detached and isolated from others
- Avoiding people, places, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings which remind you of the trauma
- Physical symptoms – headaches, stomach aches, illness
- Feeling isolated, alone, abandoned, and alienated – as though no one cares, no one understands, or no one is there for support
It is very important that we as a clinic address each person on an individual basis and assess their specific trauma. Our clinicians at Sherman Counseling are prepared and ready to offer assistance in any way we can to help with your recovery process.