Many types of experiences can be traumatic and events that are traumatic for one person may be less traumatic for another. Our bodies have evolved ways to cope with some trauma but these coping mechanisms are not always enough. Sometimes a single event can be traumatising and sometimes trauma is the result of a series of difficult experiences. The traumatising event(s) may have happened recently, or many years ago. The symptoms of trauma can begin immediately following a traumatic experience or surface much, much later.
Causes of psychological and emotional trauma include experiencing violence, experiencing physical or sexual abuse, childhood abuse, witnessing the abuse or violence of other people, catastrophic events (like war or natural disasters) and accidents. The death (or loss) of a person can be traumatic for some people and life transitions like moving home or leaving one's culture can have a traumatic impact on some people's lives.
Difficult experiences can leave us feeling overwhelmed, confused and afraid. In a state of trauma
our bodies can respond in ways they didn't before. This can be unsettling and very frightening. The symptoms of trauma include rage, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, nightmares, insomnia, panic attacks, disturbing thoughts or feelings and emotional detachment. Some people re-experience the traumatic event both psychologically and physically. Each person experiences trauma differently and the symptoms of trauma can vary significantly between individuals.
Trauma is not always the result of physical harm. It's not the objective facts that determine whether an experience is traumatic, but the subjective emotional response of the person experiencing the event.
Some trauma survivors feel they have lost their sense of security and the world may feel more frightening or more dangerous than it did before. They may have difficulties trusting themselves or others and they may feel unsafe even in places that felt very safe before.
Trauma therapy can help untangle the complex diffcult emotions and fears that trauma survivors often describe. The concept of therapy can be daunting for trauma survivors as they often fear therapy will trigger painful feelings around the traumatic events of their life. A common fear is that trauma therapy will be as frightening as the original traumatic experiences. A competent trauma therapist will support trauma survivors carefully, facilitating a process that can help restore a sense of safety and control in trauma sufferer's lives.
For an appointment to discuss trauma therapy,
please get in touch on 020 7323 5262