Most people are well aware of the dangers of physical trauma and severe injuries, like broken bones. Furthermore, our society has a well-developed infrastructure to treat physical trauma quickly to help the victim. Unfortunately, our society is not nearly as supportive of people who suffer from emotional trauma, which can be just as severe and debilitating as physical trauma. Even worse, some individuals don’t believe that emotional trauma is “real”.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Emotional trauma is real, and it’s not something you need to deal with alone. Recognize & Rise can provide you with the support resources you need to overcome emotional trauma no matter its source or your symptoms. Furthermore, we can help you learn to identify emotional trauma in yourself and others so we can all better support each other in these trying times.
Emotional trauma is always difficult to withstand. But together, we can give each other the help we need and form a solid community in the Tarrant County area and beyond!
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Emotional trauma explained
Emotional trauma and/or psychological trauma are the same thing. It is the result of a very stressful event that leads to a sense of unbalanced feelings including anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, or all of the above. Because emotional trauma can be so disconcerting for many people, it often leaves permanent psychological imprints on individuals and symptoms may last for a very long time.
Trauma is not simply “feeling sad” or “feeling scared”. It is a deeper, more serious psychological event that can overwhelm a person and make them feel isolated, terrified, and more. Beyond that, emotional trauma can also make people feel helpless or unable to protect themselves.
In many people, emotional trauma is broadly characterized by a loss of a sense of safety. This is partially because emotional trauma is often caused by a dangerous event or circumstance.
No matter what, if you’ve experienced emotional trauma, you must remember that it’s not your fault and there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling traumatized. Psychological trauma occurs to anyone at any age, including children and adults.
Emotional Trauma can be a response to a terrible event like an accident
Post-traumatic stress disorder
In some individuals, a traumatic experience can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is characterized by panic attacks, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms and is clinically recognized as a mental disorder.
If you or someone you know has PTSD, it’s important to seek out medical assistance and therapy to treat this disorder and start the recovery process.
What can cause emotional trauma?
Emotional trauma is caused by a wide variety of circumstances and incidents, including:
• One-time events like accidents, violent attacks, or injuries.
• Chronic stress. This can include living in a dangerous or crime-ridden neighborhood, dealing with a life-threatening or uncomfortable illness, or experiencing repeated traumatic events like bullying or childhood violence.
• Sudden loss of someone or something important to you, such as the death of a loved one or divorce.
• Cruel incidents, such as bullying or humiliation in front of other people.
• Isolation for an extended period of time, such as when you are lost in the wilderness or if a person stays in their home for too long.
• A dangerous event, such as nearly drowning as a child.
Because emotional trauma can be triggered by such a wide variety of circumstances, it can be difficult for some trauma survivors to recognize that they have experienced emotional trauma in the first place. But emotional trauma takes many forms and affects all of us equally severely.
That’s why it’s important to know that there are resources available if you need help overcoming or withstanding emotional trauma. Recognize & Rise is ready and willing to assist you with any emotional trauma needs. We can also connect you to therapists, wellness centers, and support groups.
What are the overt and hidden signs of trauma?
Emotional trauma, though it can be just as severe as physical trauma, if not more, includes subtler symptoms than physical injuries. But trauma is characterized by symptoms that can be recognized if you know what to look for.
The overt or exterior signs of trauma include:
• Fear and Anxiety, particularly if these emotional responses are focused around an event, object, place, or person
• Anger and irritability, especially when in conjunction with mood swings
• Guilt or a sense of shame when doing or seeing certain things
• Insomnia or recurring nightmares about the same subject
• Being easy to startle
• Having muscle tension or regular aches and pains
The subtle, hidden signs of trauma can include:
• Personality or mood disorders like OCD, anxiety, depression, and more
• Substance abuse habits or disorders with alcohol or drugs
• Difficulty forming relationships
• Tendency to self-sabotage in areas like work, romance, or family relationships
• An inability to perform certain tasks or do specific things
• Repeated panic attacks
• A sense of lost time or an inability to track where the time goes
• Black and white or divisive thinking
• Extreme fears or paranoia that may appear without reason
The risks of childhood trauma
A traumatic event can occur to anyone. However, people are more likely to be traumatized in early childhood, as the mind is not finished fully developing and children are not as well-equipped emotionally to be able to withstand stressors or losses as adults.
Furthermore, childhood trauma can leave lasting emotional or psychological impressions well into adulthood, shaping your decisions and personality and leading to long-term effects. Because of this, it’s important to know whether you have childhood trauma and to understand where it can come from.
Childhood trauma can occur to you or another person for many reasons, including:
• Experiencing a serious illness or a major injury
• Separation from a parent, such as during a divorce
• Experiencing intrusive medical procedures
• Living in an unsafe or unstable environment
• Experiencing domestic violence
• Being neglected by one or both parents as a child
• Experiencing sexual, verbal, or physical abuse from an adult like a family member or another child
• Long-term bullying, both physical and verbal and more
How do you know if you have childhood trauma?
For many people, childhood trauma is marked by behavioral or emotional changes that are difficult to overcome in adulthood. These can include paranoia, difficulty concentrating, personality disorders or emotional problems, substance use disorders, and more.
It’s often good to speak to a therapist if you believe that you have suffered emotional trauma or if you recognize certain harmful patterns in your behavior or activities. A therapist can help you get to the bottom of your feelings and may be able to suggest helpful resources for recovery.
Can emotional trauma be helped?
Yes. Emotional trauma, while difficult to overcome alone, can eventually be managed or alleviated with the help of a strong support network and, if necessary, psychiatric assistance from behavioral health or mental health professionals.
Emotional trauma is almost always related to one or more incidents in the past, but the variety of those incidents means that treatment processes can vary. For example, emotional trauma related to the loss of a loved one is most often treated with time; as the grieving process completes, the person suffering from trauma overcomes their grief with the help of their friends and family members and is no longer chronically traumatized.
Other types of trauma may require direct intervention or types of therapy. For example, some individuals with a phobia of spiders go through “exposure therapy” with the help of a psychiatrist to overcome their phobia by viewing media involving spiders or spending time in a room with spiders safely in a tank.
If you require help with your emotional trauma, Recognize & Rise can put you in touch with substance abuse and mental health services in the Tarrant County area or connect you with support resources you might be able to use to identify the source of your trauma and discover a good solution for it.
How long does it take to recover from trauma-related pain?
Everyone is different, and no two people’s traumas are exactly alike. Thus, the recovery process for trauma is also very individualistic. It may take some people a few weeks or a few months to recover from trauma. Others may require several years to overcome a traumatic incident and get their life back to normal.
This is all right. You don’t have to adhere to a specific timetable or rush the recovery process. In fact, you can take as long as you need to recover from trauma. Your therapist or support group will more than understand.
Finding trauma recovery resources
The most important thing to do to recover from trauma is to build a support group of friends and family members. Moreover, talk to people you trust and speak to them about your experience. And they may be able to help you through the recovery process.
Additional trauma recovery resources are everywhere, but Recognize & Rise can help you get the support you need fast. Recognize & Rise offers support groups or wellness exercises to help you recover from trauma and get your life back on track.
The journey back to your life will be long, but it’s worthwhile. Remember that you are far from alone.
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No official endorsement by the Mental Health Connection or its membership for the information on this web site is intended or should be inferred. The materials contained on this site are made available for educational purposes only and are not meant to serve as medical advice or to replace consultation with your physician or mental health professional. Information about diagnosis and treatment that appears on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a mental health problem. You are advised to consult a qualified mental health care provider about your personal questions or concerns. The views and opinions of authors expressed on this site do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Mental Health Connection or its membership. Links to external websites are provided for convenience of reference only and are not intended as an endorsement of the organization or a warranty of any type of information on the site.