A trauma can be caused by a specific event (like an accident, assault or life threatening event), a
recurring event (like combat exposure or repeated abuse) or a developmental or childhood
trauma (like physical or emotional neglect in childhood).
When we are in the presence of dangers like these, our bodies get ready to respond, changing
physiologically to prepare to deal with the situation. This is an adaptive response when there is a
threat present, but sometimes the body is not able to turn it off after the danger has passed.
Whether you have been exposed to a life or death situation, or have experienced something in
childhood that your body interpreted as a dangerous situation, the effect is the same. The trauma
lives on, whether in the form of PTSD or other states of arousal, feelings of dread, doom,
anxiety, avoidance, uncontrolled emotional reactions, or physical symptoms.
Many people experience some form of trauma in their lives, but it can impact us in different
ways. Trauma can have a lasting impact on you both emotionally and physically. Your nervous
system, endocrine system and memory may all be impacted.
Trauma & PTSD Symptoms
Physiologically, you are likely to be in a state of high arousal and anxiety or very low arousal, as
in depression. You might feel depressed and hopeless, angry and irritable, or anxious and fearful.
You might struggle with feelings of shame and self-blame.
You could find yourself feeling isolated or disconnected from others, finding it difficult to trust
people or feeling rejected. You might have physical symptoms such as muscle aches, fatigue, and
chronic pain. These feelings can be painful and make it difficult to feel at peace in your life. If
you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.
You might struggle with recurrent or intrusive memories of the traumatic event or even
nightmares. Trauma impacts everyone differently and can lead to an anxiety disorder, depression,
compulsive behaviors such as overeating an eating disorder, or substance abuse or even
posttraumatic stress disorder.
All trauma can cause problems in relationships, and it may be difficult to know what you feel at
times. You may have heightened sensitivity to stimuli—sound, temperature, light etc.
Life may feel overwhelming, and you may suffer from migraines, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
or other chronic medical conditions. You may feel anxious around other people, particularly in
groups. Sometimes, you may feel that it is safer to disconnect from your body, your emotions,
and from other people and feel numb.
The good news is that trauma therapy can help you move past the trauma you have experienced
without reliving it, and find new ways to relate to yourself and others.
How Trauma Therapy Can Help
Your therapist can teach you skills to treat PTSD symptoms, and regulate difficult thoughts, emotions and physical symptoms as you begin coping with trauma and responding to the word in a calmer, healthier way.
There are many effective trauma informed therapy approaches used by mental health professionals.
Through trauma therapy, you can experience a reduction in anxiety, increased self-worth and feelings of empowerment instead of powerlessness.
You can get “back to normal” or maybe experience feelings of calm and contentment for the first time. In the present moment, you can find safety, strength and resiliency.
Treatment of PTSD and trauma has the added benefit of potentially healing physical symptoms and increasing your immune system as your body heals.
There is Hope
Research has identified proven methods for treating PTSD and trauma symptoms. If you have been struggling with traumatic stress symptoms or other unexplained symptoms, trauma therapy may be helpful for you.
Our therapists who work with trauma have been trained specifically in the use of trauma therapies to help you resolve your symptoms effectively. It can take time to heal, but it can benefit multiple aspects of your life: physical, emotional, relational, and more.