Feel trapped in overdrive – on edge, irritable, ready to snap?
Do you experience poor concentration or confusion, or feel easily overwhelmed?
Do you suffer from trauma related scars, nightmares, or flashbacks?
Do you avoid situations or reminders of the traumatic event?
Are you suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression?
You should know you are not alone.
A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress revealed that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is perhaps more common than you think. Just over eight percent of people in our community will experience PTSD in their lifetimes, 4.7% within the past year, and 3.8% in the past six-month period. The numbers are even higher when we include those who also suffer following significant trauma but don’t fit typical PTSD criteria.
Millions of Americans continue to suffer from the devastating after effects of traumatic experience.
You may have trauma resulting from events that occurred as an adult, or from conditions and situations that occurred in childhood that are yet unresolved. Trauma can alter how the brain functions, and its signs and symptoms can vary from finding it difficult to trust and being constantly on guard, to sudden panic and intrusive, anxiety-ridden thoughts. Trauma, without question, can significantly lessen your quality of life.
Trauma can occur after single events such as a car accident or a disaster event, or a result of longer-term events such as an illness or caring for a loved one through a life-threatening illness. The aftermath can remain with you long after the incidents are over. Abusive relationships can cause symptoms of the trauma that may remain even when the dangerous situation has been removed.
Harmful childhood experiences have a significant impact in adulthood and are referred to as developmental trauma. Physical abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse may have occurred decades ago, but serious effects can continue to impact you – often impacting you in ways that are out of your awareness. Sexual abuse causes devastating effects for a lifetime. The ability to engage in healthy and secure relationships can bear the scars, as triggers from earlier harm get in the way of being able to trust and feel safe with the other.
Many times, trauma may have occurred but in a much less dramatic manner. The ability to bond, connect, feel safe, and have self-esteem are developed as a child experiences the validation, focus, and positive regard from his or her parents. When a child has been raised in an environment that is unable to meet the child’s need for security and safety, or the parent or caregiver is not sufficiently present, attentive, or attuned a child may suffer many consequences. Many adult struggles and challenges have their roots in these childhood conditions.
All of these conditions can result in a variety of symptoms that impact all impacts of daily life including:
- Intrusive memories – flashbacks – reliving the memory as if it were occurring now, nightmares, severe emotional responses to reminders or triggers of an event
- Avoidance – trying to avoid thinking about the memory, avoiding conditions that might remind of a traumatic event – these avoidance symptoms are such that they get in the way of living life as the person would like
- Negative changes in thinking or mood – hopelessness, memory difficulties, unable to stay connected in relationships, detachment, feeling emotionally numb
- Changes in physical and emotional reactions – easily startled, hyper-vigilant for danger, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, irritability, angry outbursts, high levels of guilt or shame
Does this sound like you?….
– I feel like the joy, love, and other positive emotions have been sucked from my life
– I’d like professional help to better understand and cope with previous trauma
– I want to live an easier, happier, more connected life
…Then trauma therapy may offer the ideal therapeutic approach for you.
Trauma therapy combines different approaches and techniques to help lessen, even eliminate, the painful mental and physical responses raised by the memory of traumatic events and seeks to create new healthier patterns in your brain.
In trauma therapy I work with you toward lessening, even extinguishing, the pain. It’s my goal to identify the source and triggers for your emotional and physical suffering, and work on resolving the distress and discomfort, and find peace and calm in its place. I work from a bottom up approach allowing the wisdom of your body and felt experiences to guide us to where you need to go to heal. We will also work with strategies to self-regulate and manage the uncomfortable feelings.
If you want to change the state you are in – contact me.