Healing From Trauma
Trauma occurs when a person is overwhelmed by an event or circumstance and responds with intense fear, horror and helplessness. Trauma is present in nearly all mental health and substance abuse challenges, and there also is a relationship between trauma and physical health such as diabetes.
Examples of traumatic experiences include:
- Childhood abuse, violence or neglect
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- Grief and loss
- Accidents and natural disasters
- Medical interventions
- War trauma
- Witnessing acts of violence
Symptoms to look for may include:
- Headaches, backaches, stomachaches
- Sudden sweating and/or heart palpitations
- Changes in sleep patterns, appetite or interest in sex
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Easily startled by noises or unexpected touch
- More susceptible to colds and illnesses
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs and/or overeating
- Fear, depression, anxiety
- Outbursts of anger or rage
- Emotional swings
- Nightmares and flashbacks – re-experiencing the trauma
- Isolation or detachment
- Difficulty trusting
- Self-blame, survivor guilt or shame
- Diminished interest in everyday activities
Helpful coping strategies are:
- Talk to someone you trust.
- Connect with others who have experienced trauma.
- Exercise and Relax (i.e. yoga, meditation, walking, bicycling, etc.)
- Take up a hobby
- Eat well and regulate your sleep
- Reduce stimulants (i.e. sugar, caffeine, nicotine)
- Commit to something meaningful each day
- Write about your experience for yourself or to share with others.
A good place to start is to speak with your primary care provider. For more information, call 850.469.3500.