Dealing with trauma can, for many people, be a lifelong process. Many people do not ever really “get over” trauma. However, with care and support, many patients who have experienced immense trauma can move forward with healing and greater overall health.
Trauma is the emotional reaction and aftermath of a distressing event or events. Trauma can cause people to react in unexpected ways, even to expected or prepared stimuli. Trauma can interfere with a person’s overall sense of security and safety, even among people that the individual considers “safe,” and may lead to more difficulty in relationships or managing emotions.
Typically, trauma gets divided into three key categories.
Chronic trauma occurs when the individual suffers from ongoing exposure to potentially traumatizing events. Abuse and domestic violence, for example, may place many people into chronically stressful situations, leading to extreme trauma and stress response. Chronic trauma may also be present in some members of the armed forces, who may face a significant number of ongoing traumatic events throughout their careers.
Often, people do not recognize the full impact of past trauma when it first occurs. Instead, they may notice symptoms that crop up weeks, months, or even years later. In some cases, individuals who suffered significant trauma years ago may find themselves dealing with serious emotional strain. Patients who find themselves dealing with some of these common issues may need to process past trauma.
Many strategies can go into healing past trauma. A qualified mental health professional can help many patients learn how to cope with past trauma and move forward to better overall care. Trauma recovery is essential to living a happy and healthy life. People who have experienced trauma should consider working with a mental health provider to determine a course of treatment that is effective and feels safe.
The healing process looks different for everyone when processing their traumatic experiences. Working with a trauma therapist can help patients reframe their thoughts and feelings around the trauma. Healthy coping skills are an important part of trauma recovery.
Self-care after trauma can help ease the process of recovery.
Mindfulness is often critical for patients suffering from a high degree of trauma. Often, patients suffering from trauma-related responses or PTSD try to avoid processing those feelings, memories, and issues for as long as possible. Often, they may note rising symptoms, but end up repressing them or trying to push them down and ignore them. However, mindfulness can prove essential in managing those symptoms and seeking more positive outcomes.
Mindfulness therapy may involve:
Staying in the moment, even when it can prove difficult. Mindfulness may mean remaining aware of the current moment and current needs, even though it can feel easier to ignore those needs or focus on past or future events.
Taking time out to pay attention. Patients with trauma may need to listen to their body’s physical and mental cues, note things that have a higher risk of causing a trauma response, and learn how to work through those moments and memories. That may involve, for example, simply taking the time out to question responses and listen to what the body might be saying at that moment.
Accepting things and people for who and what they are. Mindfulness includes accepting one’s self as well as accepting that others are who they are, and are unlikely to change.
Breathing. Sometimes, mindfulness is as simple as taking a moment to slow down and breathe.
Unplugging. In many cases, people suffering from depression, anxiety, or trauma will stay very “plugged in” to social media, games, and phones. Constant busyness often gets used as a coping mechanism. However, mindfulness means unplugging and taking time to genuinely connect with the world as it is.
Mindfulness can help patients recognize the impact of trauma in their lives, consider their reactions, and process those concerns.
In many cases, the entire family suffers a significant impact from a trauma-related event. Sometimes, family members will struggle to process those events together. In other cases, when a single family member suffers from trauma, that family member may try to isolate themselves, shutting out members of the family to “protect” or “shield” them from that potentially devastating aftermath.
In many cases, that can lead to broken relationships and increased struggles. Family therapy can help restore those relationships and give family members the tools and strategies needed to help process many of those struggles.
Holistic therapy takes a mind-and-body approach to heal from trauma, addiction, and more. Yoga therapy, for example, may help a patient focus on their body and its responses. Holistic therapy may also involve taking an approach to healing that incorporates diet, exercise, and other key elements designed to help bolster overall healing, improve trauma responses, and lead to better overall outcomes.
At No Matter What Recovery, patients will find sober living options and support, EMDR therapy options, and more. In many cases, going through recovery and therapy in a healing, supportive environment can make a huge difference for patients suffering from the aftereffects of a traumatic event.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of our services.