Human beings are incredibly resilient despite being exposed to many different types of difficult and distressing events throughout their lifetime. However, when someone is exposed to a particularly severe or life-threatening situation, it can create a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that can last months or even years and leave someone feeling helpless and hopeless. Whether short-term or long-term, trauma can affect everyone differently and diminish the ability to live a happy and productive life.
The only way to heal and move on from something or someone that has caused trauma in your life is to face your fears and resolve the unpleasant feelings and memories you’ve harbored for so long. At Blair Wellness Group, we can help those who struggle with trauma release negative feelings, build emotional resilience, and work through their barriers to happiness. Please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about trauma therapy and would like to schedule an appointment in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, or the surrounding area.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is defined as a person’s response to a deeply distressing event or series of events that are found to be physically or emotionally threatening. These extraordinarily stressful events can overwhelm you, make you feel helpless, and destroy your sense of security. Some examples include being a victim of rape or a violent attack, witnessing or being part of a terrible accident or natural disaster, and taking part in military combat.
Although most of these examples describe one-time life-threatening events, it’s important to understand that someone can experience trauma and all of its consequences through other forms of long-term stress such as a chronic illness, bullying, or domestic violence. To get a better understanding of this difficult and often debilitating disorder, it’s helpful to take a closer look at the main types of trauma and their causes.
Types of Trauma
There are many different different ways to categorize the types of trauma that people experience, but in the simplest of terms, they can be grouped into the following three types.
This type of trauma is the result of a one-time event such as an automobile accident or violent attack. You do not have to be the victim or target of the event. Acute trauma may also arise from witnessing such an event happen to someone else. Experiencing the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one can also fall into this category.
Chronic or long-term trauma arises when someone is exposed to deeply distressing events over an extended period of time. Military veterans who went to war would be one example of chronic trauma, but so would ongoing domestic abuse, bullying, or dealing with a serious, long-term illness.
The term complex is used to describe both the exposure to multiple traumas and the complicated nature of those traumas. Complex trauma usually involves being the victim of ongoing harm from someone you know. It is defined as being repetitive and prolonged, it may include direct harm or abandonment, and oftentimes it occurs at developmentally vulnerable times in a person’s life. Victims of complex trauma struggle with feelings of being trapped as well as shame — as if they are somehow to blame. Because of the overwhelming emotional toll that complex trauma can take, some people will develop maladaptive coping mechanisms such as drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, or self-harm as a result.
Reactions To Trauma
Trauma can unleash many different thoughts, feelings, and physical symptoms ranging from mild to severe and everything in between. Everyone’s experience is different, and there is no set precedence for how you should react or how long you should expect to feel the way you do. That’s why it’s important to be patient and understanding of yourself and others who are struggling to heal during this difficult time.
The following are some of the most common emotional symptoms often experienced by those reacting to trauma.
- Denial and disbelief
- Self-blame or guilt
- Emotional detachment or feeling “numb”
In addition to the above emotional symptoms, people may also experience various physical symptoms such as:
- Digestive upset
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Rapid heartbeat
- Flashbacks or nightmares
Psychological Disorders and Complications
Besides physical and emotional symptoms, people who are suffering from the repercussions of trauma are also at an increased risk of developing one or more psychological disorders. The following are two of the most common.
Acute Stress Disorder
People who have experienced a traumatic event are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder called acute stress disorder. Those who have been diagnosed with acute stress disorder experience many of the same symptoms as those who have PTSD, but they manifest shortly after the traumatic event and their effects are short-term. This is unlike PTSD in that people with PTSD may not experience symptoms for weeks, months, or even years after the event and they don’t usually go away on their own. In fact, symptoms can last a lifetime without proper treatment.
Some people who experience acute stress disorder will go on to eventually develop PTSD. Whether or not this happens can be influenced by a variety of factors including the severity of the trauma, chronic trauma versus an isolated event, individual resiliency, and willingness to seek help or support, among other things.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a mental health condition brought about by a traumatic experience. Although some symptoms are similar to acute stress disorder, those suffering from PTSD often have realistic and intrusive memories related to the event that takes place in the form of flashbacks or nightmares. These experiences along with incessant feelings of being in potential danger can make it difficult for someone with PTSD to carry out normal daily responsibilities, engage in meaningful relationships, or simply enjoy life.
At Blair Wellness Group, we utilize a variety of proven therapies and treatments as part of a customized treatment program to help clients cope with and heal from trauma. Under the expert and compassionate care of Dr. Blair, clients can get the help they need to gain freedom from the overwhelming thoughts and emotions that consume their daily lives. Learn more about trauma therapy or contact Blair Wellness Group at 310-999-4996 to schedule an appointment.
Our Core Values
At Blair Wellness Group, we are here to meet your clinical needs at any time.
We support our clients to reach their goals and objectives through maintaining an adaptive lifestyle.
With more than 15 years of experience in providing psychological services, we are confident in our expertise.
Professional Team Support
We are dedicated to our client’s wellbeing. Our team has the extensive training to provide quality care for all of our clients.