Psychological trauma is a reaction to a challenging or disturbing event. Usually, trauma occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. Trauma takes many forms, but if it interferes with a person’s day-to-day life, it can lead to mental health conditions. On June 27, 2022, we recognize Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day.
Symptoms of PTSD
After a traumatic event, such as a car accident or the loss of a loved one, a person may experience extreme anxiety and stress, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anyone who has been through a traumatic event can suffer from PTSD.
PTSD manifests itself in three ways:
- Intrusive: This includes anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and emotional distress. Additionally, physical responses (tension in the muscles, breathing changes, rapid heartbeats, etc.) are common.
- Avoidance: Avoiding thinking or talking about the trauma. The avoidance of traumatic events also includes social isolation, avoiding places, people, and situations that remind them of the traumatic event.
- Depressive: Symptoms of depression may include low self-esteem, feeling hopeless or helpless, guilt, irritability, indecisiveness, a lack of motivation, or low self-esteem.
Please seek help from a mental health professional if any of the symptoms above impact your life.
Taking care of yourself is important after trauma. Healing requires self-care. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Everyone deserves to be healthy and happy. A healthy, happy life begins with self-care. If there was ever a relationship you should cherish more than anything else, it is the relationship with yourself.
It is important to speak to yourself compassionately, take time to rest, advocate for yourself, and get the help you need to be your own best friend. Each of these practices will improve not only your physical health but your mental well-being.
Hope for Healing
PTSD can seem hopeless and overbearing, but the opposite is true. The right support and treatment can help a person heal and move forward from trauma.
Having healing allies is imperative in the wake of trauma, which is often relational in nature. Finding a compassionate, supportive mental health professional that you can trust is an excellent first step.
Though seeking help is a scary thing, it is necessary to develop your well-being and improve your relationships. As humans, our natural instinct is to avoid pain. When we touch a hot stove, we know not to touch it again. It’s important however when experiencing emotional and psychological pain, to understand the pain, rather than dwell on it. Humans are wired to want to understand our experiences and ourselves. Traumatic experiences can be a challenge to comprehend. An experienced professional can help.
It is not hopeless. Reach out to a qualified professional if you are struggling with trauma.