The majority of adults in America will experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives. Witnessing the death of a loved one, being the victim of sexual abuse, living through a natural disaster — these are all examples of life-threatening or life-altering events. After a traumatic event, everyone can expect to experience some form of stress symptoms such as an increased heart rate, extreme anxiety, and trouble sleeping. But, it’s also common for these symptoms to develop into trauma and stress-related disorders that are more severe and enduring.
At Blair Wellness Group, we believe that the first step toward healing is through a better understanding of how our thoughts and experiences can influence mental health. You don’t have to be a military combat veteran to be more susceptible to mental health disorders. Trauma comes in many forms and can cause a wide variety of reactions. In today’s blog, we would like to take a deeper look into some of the most common types of trauma and stress-related disorders and how trauma therapy can help.
Types of Trauma Disorders
Just as there are many different reactions to trauma, there are also many types of trauma disorders with different causes and symptoms. The common characteristic they share is that all of them are caused by past trauma.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most well-researched trauma disorders. Symptoms may take weeks, months, or even years to manifest and they do not usually go away on their own. In fact, without treatment, they can become all-consuming and get worse over time.
Acute Stress Disorder
This disorder can develop soon after exposure to a traumatic event. Symptoms are similar to those of PTSD except that they are short-lived and can diminish on their own within days or weeks after the event. Approximately half of those who are diagnosed with acute stress disorder will go on to develop PTSD.
Just as the name implies, second-hand trauma occurs through exposure to the first-hand trauma of other people. This is common in doctors, nurses, first responders, and social workers.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
This disorder occurs in children who cannot form healthy attachments to their parents or caregivers. Reactive attachment disorder may develop if the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection, and nurturing aren’t met.
Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED)
This disorder is similar to reactive attachment disorder but with less severe symptoms. It is seen in children who have a history of trauma or neglect and it makes it difficult for them to form meaningful connections to others.
Adjustment disorders are characterized by intense emotional or behavioral reactions to stress. People who experience stressful situations usually learn to adjust. But, with an adjustment disorder, they find it difficult to cope and may experience symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, anxiety, and social isolation for several months.
If you have experienced trauma and have distressing symptoms that are affecting your daily life, it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to accelerate the healing process. Trauma therapy can help those who are struggling with the psychological impact of witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event by helping them reprogram the survival-based reactions that keep them feeling anxious, unhappy, or living in fear. Contact Blair Wellness Group at 310-999-4996 to learn more and to schedule an appointment for trauma therapy in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and the surrounding area.