Growing up in today's world can be tough, and unfortunately, many people have experienced traumatic events that stay with them long after they've left them behind. Trauma is an incredibly powerful force, affecting not only a person's mental well-being but also their physical health.
Trauma can have a devastating effect on individuals, influencing how they think, feel, and interact with the world around them. Many survivors of trauma may struggle to make sense of their thoughts and emotions while attempting to function in everyday life. So, what happens when someone experiences trauma? Discover how an event or experience can cause lasting damage to how one functions, and explore some strategies for coping with the aftermath.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is a deep-rooted psychological response to an emotionally overwhelming or distressing experience. It can also be described as a type of psychological wound caused by an event or experience that is so intense it overwhelms a person's ability to cope.
This psychological wound can be caused by anything from physical abuse, sexual assault, natural disasters, war, and other frightening events that shake one's sense of safety and security in the world. Trauma can also be caused by prolonged situations such as living with an abusive partner or enduring poverty. While the effects of trauma vary from person to person, many survivors will struggle with things such as depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, nightmares, anger outbursts, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How Does Trauma Affect the Brain?
The effects of trauma on the brain can be significant. When a person experiences trauma, the body's fight or flight response kicks in, flooding the system with hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that help to prepare it for danger. Unfortunately, when these hormones are released into the body at such high levels over an extended period of time, they can wreak havoc on both physical and mental health. These hormones can cause changes in brain structure that may impact how a person processes emotions and memories as well as their ability to regulate their moods and behaviors.
The part of the brain that is most affected by trauma is the hippocampus. The hippocampus helps regulate fear and stress responses in the body; it's responsible for encoding memories and making sense of them. In some cases, trauma can cause lasting damage to this area of the brain, leading to things like hypervigilance and an inability to form new memories or accurately process information. The ongoing stress from the trauma (even long after it occurs) may cause the hippocampus to shrink, making it more difficult for the person to recall details from past events. Additionally, trauma can cause changes in the amygdala, which is responsible for assessing danger and responding accordingly. This can lead to heightened anxiety levels as well as episodes of panic or fear when faced with a potentially dangerous situation.
What Happens to Unhealed Trauma?
When someone has experienced a traumatic event or series of events, they may struggle with feelings such as guilt, shame, anger, hopelessness, and confusion that prevent them from living a full life. If left untreated, these feelings may manifest into physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, and chronic pain. Unhealed trauma can also lead to mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, as well as an inability to form healthy relationships.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for healing from trauma. Professional trauma therapy is a type of therapeutic intervention that helps people process their traumatic experiences and find ways to cope with the effects of trauma in a safe environment. Through trauma therapy, individuals learn how to recognize and address triggers that may cause them distress or pain while working towards rebuilding their sense of safety and security in the world.
Common techniques used in trauma therapy may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and somatic experiencing (SE). These therapies help people identify unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors, process their emotions in a safe way, and develop tools for managing difficult feelings. Trauma therapy also helps individuals create effective coping mechanisms for dealing with triggers, allowing them to live with more peace and joy.
By seeking help from a qualified trauma therapist, survivors of traumatic events can learn how to heal from the pain they have experienced and move forward in life. With proper treatment, it is possible to reclaim one's sense of safety and security while living a meaningful life free of fear or distress.
Your Recovery Matters
Trauma is a life-altering experience, and it can have long-term effects on emotional and physical health. Despite this, recovery is possible with the right treatment and support. With trauma therapy, individuals can learn how to process their experiences in a healthy way and develop coping tools for managing triggers that arise in the future.
It's important to remember that healing from trauma takes time, so it's important to be patient with oneself during the healing process and not give up hope. When survivors seek help from a qualified trauma therapist, they are taking an active role in reclaiming their sense of safety and security while finding joy in life once again. Recovery from trauma is possible, and it starts by seeking help today.
Trauma Therapy in Chattanooga, TN
Trauma affects people from all walks of life, but with the right help and support, individuals can learn how to heal and move forward. At Iris Wellness Group in Chattanooga, TN, we understand the unique challenges trauma survivors face and are here to help you begin on your way to recovery.
Iris Wellness Group specializes in providing counseling and trauma therapy in Chattanooga, TN. Our team of trauma-informed counselors is committed to providing compassionate care tailored to each individual's needs. We provide evidence-based treatment that helps people process their traumatic experiences and find effective coping tools for managing triggers.
Our goal is to maintain a safe space where individuals can feel comfortable talking about their experiences free from judgment or shame. We understand the importance of providing compassionate care as well as giving our clients tools to manage their triggers so they can live with more peace and joy.
If you or someone you love has experienced trauma and is looking for help, please contact us today. We are dedicated to helping our clients find healing in their lives through supportive counseling services.