Counseling: as our understanding of emotional and psychological science grows, so too does our understanding of trauma and how it affects a person both in the short and long term. For centuries, the prescribed treatment for trauma was to “toughen up” or “forget about it”.
This is highly evident in the method we see soldiers from past wars treat for conditions such as shell shock and “1000-yard stare”. However, in recent decades we have made tremendous strides in not only identifying numerous different types of trauma but also how it impacts the lives of those who suffer from it. There are 3 main categories of trauma:
- Acute – A single situation that was extremely dangerous or stressful
- Chronic – Prolonged or repeated exposure to disturbing or stressful events
- Complex – The result of being expose to multiple traumatic events
Trauma counseling is designed to identify which type of trauma a person may be suffering from and work to address those issues. Here are 6 signs that people who are suffering from trauma or PTSD may display:
Re-Living a Distressing Experience through Flashbacks, Nightmares, or Intrusive Memories
Trauma can reassert itself in many different ways. If you find yourself frequently reliving a moment or experience in your mind, whether consciously or while asleep, there is a chance you may need trauma counseling.
Avoiding Certain Activities, Places, or Even People Because They Remind You of the Trauma
If the trauma was shared with or is associated in your mind with someone or something else, it is not uncommon for you to avoid seeing those people or places. This is a defense mechanism to avoid having to relive the trauma, as mentioned in the above section.
You Find it Difficult to Nap at Night and/or Concentrate During the Day
Many people suffer from insomnia and/or sleep anxiety following a traumatic event. And as previously mentioned, chronic nightmares can interfere with sleep as well.
This lack of sleep can lead to concentration lapses at work or school. One of the first things trauma counseling focuses on is helping you relax and get some rest.
You Frequently Feel Agitated or Angry
Trauma is similar to being stuck in a “fight or flight” mode. It’s like a switch got turned on during the traumatic event and it only got lower afterwards, not completely turned off. These are the “fight” chemicals at work.
You Frequently Feel Jumpy and/or Skittish
The other side of the “fight” response to fear and trauma is “flight”. Feeling jumpy and skittish is the result of that same switch not being turned off; only these chemicals produce anxiety instead of anger.
You are Experiencing Emotional Numbness
Sometimes patients feel no emotions at all. It’s almost like a psychological overload has taken place and the emotional system of the person needs repair. This is a definite sign that trauma counseling may be necessary.
Trauma Counseling is Design to Help Treat a Wide Variety of Issues
In today’s world, there are countless experiences that can be traumatic. However, even online bullying or having something secret/private share on social media can have devastating effects on someone’s mental health.
But unlike years ago, people who are struggling with these types of issues can get real help from qualified specialists who understand trauma-based illnesses and how to deal with them. If you find yourself grieving from this condition, please don’t wait to seek treatment.