Primary Author: Sabrina Hossain | Secondary Authors: Sophia Barson LCSW, Julie Sullivan NP
What Is Trauma?
The American Psychological Association defines trauma as an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster. Unhealed trauma can manifest in physical ailments, including headaches, nausea, chronic back pain, and joint pain. Trauma can be caused by any event that completely disrupts your nervous system, including racist interactions, divorce, immigration, dysfunctional home environment, bullying, and emotional neglect from primary caregivers.
Symptoms of Trauma
Common symptoms associated with trauma are:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Shame and guilt
Research shows that childhood trauma can manifest differently in children, adolescents, and adults. For example, children are more likely to experience bed wetting, intense anger, clinginess, and event denial. Adolescents are more likely to engage in substance abuse, eating disorders, impulsivity, and risky sexual behavior.
Causes of Trauma
Any event, from a natural disaster to an unstable home environment, can cause individuals to experience trauma. These events can leave a long-lasting impact on an individual’s physical and psychological well-being.
Triggers for Trauma
Anything that consciously or subconsciously reminds someone of a traumatic event can be identified as a trigger. It could be anything from a smell, item of clothing, movies/tv shows, or a song. A less obvious trigger can also be an emotion associated with the traumatic event.
ReKlame Health Can Help
Diagnosis for Trauma
There are multiple trauma disorders recognized in the DSM-5, which is an assessment used to diagnose mental disorders. These include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), Second Hand Trauma, Complex PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder, Adjustment Disorders, and unspecified trauma-related disorders. When seeking treatment, a psychiatrist can provide a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan. Individuals with avoidance, re-experiencing symptoms, and other factors are more likely to be diagnosed with a trauma disorder.
Treatment for Trauma
ReKlame Health offers a variety of services for patients struggling with trauma disorders. Common treatment options are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-informed therapy, and mindfulness.
Trauma-informed therapy specifically addresses symptoms related to the patient’s trauma without triggering or retraumatizing the patient. For those who find CBT distressing, Trauma-informed therapy may be the better option. Those with high ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores are most likely to benefit from trauma-informed therapy because patients are able to heal guilt and shame that has been developed over time.
Mindfulness is another evidence-based method used to help with anxiety issues related to trauma and other symptoms like hyperarousal and avoidance.
Our providers at ReKlame Health can also suggest medication that can help you manage symptoms relating to trauma. If you think you can benefit from the options listed here, book an appointment with us on our website.