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Understanding Trauma and How Your Body Handles It

The world can be a scary and dangerous place. Even if you have all the friends, all the money, and everything you could ever want, the frustrating unpredictability of life can still inflict some difficult pain on you. Whether it is something or someone inflicting the pain and damage, unfortunately every single human being out there is susceptible to experiencing some form of trauma. And regrettably, our bodies and minds can sometimes carry that traumatic experience with them after the fact. This can lead to experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a variety of other detrimental mental conditions that develop due to the trauma.

However, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Trauma is an extremely intense negative experience, but our minds are resilient, and the more we understand how we experience trauma and how our minds handle it, the better we can get at limiting its negative effects, and eventually, its power over us. That’s why at Thrive Counseling, our counselors are dedicated to informing and supporting you if you are suffering from trauma in your life, and we want to find the best way to provide for you. Keep reading below to understand more about trauma and how Thrive Counseling could help you.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is the human response to experiencing a deeply disturbing or distressing event that essentially overwhelms our everyday mental processes and coping mechanisms. These experiences can vary widely, but can still lead to the same effects. Grief is probably the most common form of experienced trauma after losing a friend or loved one. Trauma is a common experience for military personnel, especially ones who have seen combat; interpersonal violence like abuse or sexual assault is another common form of trauma experienced. But trauma can also be caused by other things too, like a significant break up/divorce, athletic injuries, illness diagnoses, significantly humiliating social experiences, or even surgery. While these other experiences might not seem as traumatic as combat or abuse, the negative mental effects can still be just as painful and difficult.

What Happens When We Experience Trauma?

When someone experiences a traumatic event, their body and mind might process it successfully while their intense feelings and memories slowly dissipate over time. But for others, these feelings and memories can become more intense, and last much longer, and these folks can experience the more intense symptoms of psychological trauma. This includes a variety of cognitive and physical/behavioral symptoms, like:

Cognitive

  • Intrusive thoughts

  • Intrusive memories and nightmares

  • Loss of concentration

  • Mood swings

  • Anger, shame, anxiety, and irritability

  • Emotional numbing and depression

  • Panic attacks

Physical/Behavioral

  • Easily startled, extreme alertness

  • Fatigue and exhaustion

  • Social isolation and withdrawal

  • Insomnia

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Trouble eating

  • Tachycardia

Dealing with Trauma — Thrive Counseling

Trauma is a frustrating part of life sometimes, especially as we get older. These symptoms can be truly debilitating, and make life feel very difficult, sometimes impossible. Sometimes you can even feel hopeless and feel like there is no point in going on. But never forget: the mind is resilient, and with some help, you can get past and take on anything, whether it is just another day at work, or trying to get in control of your mind.

That’s what we want to do at Thrive Counseling. We want to help you and support you with our high-quality counselor and therapeutic services, and provide you with the tools to get where you want to be. Whether that is being a better presence around your family or simply enjoying time alone with yourself, Thrive Counseling in southern Illinois is dedicated to providing the personalized and helpful support you might need. Contact us today and set up an appointment. Call now!