In recent decades, huge strides have been made in understanding and treating trauma. Nevertheless, people suffering the insidious and often debilitating symptoms of trauma often still struggle to gain access to appropriate treatment.
What is trauma?
In the medical model of PTSD there are clearly defined criteria that need to be met in order to meet a formal diagnosis. The reality is that many people suffer from traumatic stress without ever being diagnosed.
Trauma can result from a single incident, or from the cumulative effect of countless distressing experiences. A common feature of both is a sense of feeling overwhelmed and rendered helpless by the intensity of the experience.
A traumatic experience can be:
- direct (it happened to you)
- perceived (you believed it was going to happen to you)
- indirect (you witnessed or learnt about something happening to another – often called vicarious trauma)
Recognising trauma symptoms
The symptoms of trauma are wide-ranging and include:
- re-experiencing (e.g. flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares…)
- avoidance of anything related to the trauma
- negative thoughts or feelings that began or got worse since the trauma (e.g. beliefs about being somehow responsible; feelings of blame or shame; feeling isolated, feeling depressed, loss of hope…)
- physical and behavioural reactions (e.g. irritability, aggressive outbursts, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, easily startled, hyper-vigilent…)
Trauma & co.
Unresolved trauma is often masked by other physical or mental health conditions and can exist alongside (co-morbid). Often the unprocessed trauma is at the root of these other conditions. So healing trauma can alleviate not only the original source of the distress, but also the ripple effect of suffering.
Specialist Trauma Counselling in North Devon
If you recognise any of the above descriptions or symptoms and would like to gain relief, contact Loraine to arrange an appointment at her North Devon practice. Loraine is highly trained in a range of trauma treatment approaches, including EMDR. She can offer you a professional and safe pathway to recovery and healing.