Trauma can significantly negatively affect one’s mental health, resulting in various symptoms like PTSD, sadness, and anxiety. Unfortunately, many people who have gone through trauma do not get the support they require, which can result in long-term mental health problems.
Understanding that trauma is a mental health condition that calls for care and professional assistance is critical. Individuals can learn how to control their symptoms and recover from the effects of trauma with the correct tools and help.
If you or a loved one is suffering from trauma and are wondering how to recover from emotional trauma, continue reading. This blog will explain symptoms to look out for and how to help someone heal from trauma.
What is Trauma
According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is a response to terrible and life-altering events like losing a loved one, natural disasters, and accidents. Trauma leads to a range of complex emotions, including an initial shock, confusion, denial, anger, and sadness that can continue in the long run.
Unresolved trauma can have long-lasting impacts on a person’s relationships, career, and mental and physical health, among other elements of their life. Additionally, some trauma cases may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, heightened anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, or hyper-vigilance.
Trauma is classified under three primary categories, including:
1. Acute Trauma
Acute trauma results from a single dangerous or stressful event like a car crash, natural disaster, witnessing a violent event, physical altercation, or assault.
2. Chronic Trauma
Chronic trauma stems from reoccurring stressful situations and events like abuse, bullying, and domestic violence.
3. Complex Trauma
Complex trauma is often associated with chronic trauma and is the most severe. This type of trauma results from experiencing years of chronic trauma. In some cases, complex traumas develop during one’s childhood, which can result in development issues while growing up.
What Are the Symptoms of Trauma
Before we discuss how to help someone heal from trauma, it’s essential to know the symptoms to look out for in yourself or your loved ones. Trauma symptoms can vary and range from mild to severe. Some factors that determine how a traumatic event can affect a person include:
- If they have previous exposure to traumatic events
- If they have other pre-existing mental health conditions
- Their background, characteristics, and approach to handling emotions
Furthermore, symptoms of trauma can also be classified into physical and emotional. Here are the differences between the two:
Trauma manifests inside out, and there are visible signs of trauma to watch out for. These physical signs include:
- Racing heartbeat
- Poor concentration
- Digestion problems
2. Emotional and Psychological
Trauma can significantly affect a person’s emotional and psychological health. These symptoms include:
- Emotional outbursts
- Intrusive thoughts
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Anger and irritability
- Emotional numbing and detachment
- Shame and guilt
- Withdrawal and avoidance of people and places that remind them of their experience. This could also lead them to avoid loved ones and activities they once enjoyed.
How To Help Someone Heal From Trauma
Healing trauma can be long and complex, but having a network of understanding and supportive people can make all the difference. You may do various things to aid the healing process for a loved one who has endured trauma. Here are a few ways to heal from trauma:
The first-line treatment in healing trauma is getting therapy. There are many types of therapy to choose from and the best one depends on your needs and preferences. Two primary forms of therapy include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – For those who have suffered trauma, a proven treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT assists people in recognizing and altering harmful thinking and behavior patterns that might be causing them distress.
Through CBT, people can learn to recognize distress-inducing triggers, confront unfavorable ideas about the world and themselves, and create new, more adaptable, healthy ways of thinking and acting.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression are just a few of the trauma-related conditions for which CBT has been proven effective. With the assistance of a qualified therapist, CBT can assist people in recovering from trauma and regaining control over their life.
- Somatic Therapy – Somatic therapy is a treatment that employs the body’s physical sensations to assist people in recovering from trauma. Chronic pain, anxiety, and depressive symptoms are just a few examples of the physical and psychological effects that trauma can have on the body.
Through methods like breathing exercises, movements, and mindfulness, somatic therapy aims to address the impact of trauma by assisting patients in becoming more aware of their physical sensations and releasing pent-up tension and emotions.
Somatic therapy helps people restore a sense of safety and control and can help people feel more well-rounded by using the body as a tool for healing. This therapy is effective alone or in combination with other types of treatment, such as talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, to help people address the effects of trauma on their physical and emotional well-being.
Prescribed medications are also one of the effective ways to heal from trauma as they can help manage symptoms like sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety. It’s important to avoid self-medicating and consult a doctor for options.
3. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Another therapy that is proven effective in healing emotional trauma is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which aims to assist the brain in processing painful memories and letting go of the emotional and physical distress connected with them through bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or tapping, to address the impact of trauma.
In an EMDR session, the therapist leads the patient through a sequence of eye movements or other bilateral stimulation while concentrating on the painful memory or experience. This procedure can aid in the brain’s ability to reprocess the memory in a manner that lessens its emotional impact and makes it easier to handle. PTSD, anxiety, and depression, among other trauma-related diseases, have all been successfully treated using EMDR.
4. Connecting with Others
Along with medicines and therapies, healing emotional trauma involves human connection. Withdrawal is a common trauma symptom; most traumatized individuals isolate themselves from loved ones. To help them, reach out to these individuals and engage them in fun activities to improve their mood and well-being. Talking about their trauma is unnecessary since it can be difficult for most people; it’s enough to be there for them.
5. Joining a Support Group
Joining a support group might be a beneficial step in the healing process if you’re trying to figure out how to heal from trauma. Support groups provide a secure and encouraging environment where members can interact with others who have had similar struggles and share their experiences.
Members can support one another emotionally, validate each other’s experiences, and offer advice on how to deal with the impacts of trauma. In addition to providing a sense of community and belonging, support groups can be especially beneficial for people who feel alone or isolated.
Moreover, support groups can also offer a setting for learning coping mechanisms and methods for handling challenging feelings and symptoms. Many kinds of support groups are available, some of which are for particular sorts of trauma, such as sexual assault or trauma connected to combat.
It can be a difficult and complex process to assist someone in recovering from trauma, yet doing so is essential for long-term recovery. There are various ways to support and help those who have experienced trauma, whether through counseling, medicine, or other forms of support. No matter which option you choose, it’s crucial to remember that recovering from trauma is a journey that sometimes requires patience and time.
One can accompany someone on their recovery journey by offering a friendly and nonjudgmental environment, actively listening, and demonstrating compassion and empathy. Additionally, seeking resources and expert assistance, such as therapy or support groups, can give people the tools and coping mechanisms to deal with trauma’s effects and start the healing process.
Get the support you need from Haven House Recovery Center.
Trauma is a complex emotion built up over time due to various stressful situations. As individuals experience its multiple symptoms, it can be challenging to navigate everyday life, causing feelings of isolation.
If you or a loved one is wondering how to heal from trauma in a safe space, seek proper guidance from Haven House Recovery Center. As a trusted recovery center in Clarksville TN, we offer supportive assistance from professionals who can help you manage symptoms like depression and anxiety. Contact us immediately if you are experiencing trauma and want to start your journey to recovery.