What is trauma?
When we hear the word trauma, we think of a big catastrophe, a major accident or incident, or an element of brutality. However, trauma refers to the threat an individual experiences in a situation. It can be caused by a single event, or series of events-regular, or occasionally, having a varied impact on people.
Can normal, everyday incidents feel traumatic to some of us?
What can be normal for a person in power may not feel the same to the one who is receiving it. For instance, being humiliated by a teacher in the classroom, yelled at by an authoritarian and strict parent, or being a witness to parental violence may cause trauma if the child is unable to process feelings.
What are the signs that I am experiencing trauma?
Common signs include persistent, upsetting memories of the incident, having flashbacks or nightmares about the horrific event, or reliving it as if it were occurring again. The difficulty in emotional regulation is very hard to deal with. Trauma tends to bring out emotional extremes in individuals. One may feel either too much (overwhelmed) or too little (numb) emotion.
The signs also relate to the initial reactions to trauma- which can range from exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, numbness, or dissociation.
How does the treatment work?
Treatment can help the client find a balanced level of emotion and assist them with appropriately regulating difficult emotions. The goal of the therapy is to help clients learn to regulate/manage their emotions and feel safe and grounded.
Complex trauma often needs professional help to process the experience in a way that one can reclaim the sense of self in a safe and grounded mind space.