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Is Trauma Treatable?

Trauma is complex. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be a result of a one-time event (a car accident, an assault, etc.), or it can be a compilation of events that happened to you (adverse childhood experiences, repeated abuse, etc.).

The clinical terms are Type 1 Trauma and Type 2 Trauma, respectively.

Many times, people don’t recognize that what happened to them can be classified as trauma. Often, they mistakenly believe that PTSD associated exclusively with wartime experiences is the only definition of trauma.


The clinical terms are Type 1 Trauma and Type 2 Trauma, respectively.

Many times, people don’t recognize that what happened to them can be classified as trauma. Often, they mistakenly believe that PTSD associated exclusively with wartime experiences is the only definition of trauma.


Yet trauma is actually much broader than that and may encompass a variety of events or experiences that can leave lasting impacts. Whether clinically categorized as Type 1 or Type 2, trauma manifests differently for everyone.


How to Know if you are Experiencing Symptoms Related to Trauma

If you’ve ever been around anyone who flies off the handle over seemingly minor issues – when their soup is delivered cold, or if someone steals their parking space – then you may have witnessed a psychological reaction due to trauma. A psychological symptom of trauma can show up as being quick to anger or being irritable much of the time.


But symptoms don’t just surface psychologically. Some are silent and deep-seated. Take someone you know with continual digestive issues, or your friend who always complains of insomnia. Or maybe one of the symptoms below is something you can identify with:

Physical Symptoms of Trauma

· Flashbacks · Nightmares · Avoidance · Difficulty sleeping · Reliving the traumatic experience

Psychological Symptoms of Trauma · Anger · Irritability

· Aggression · Anxiety · Guilt · Shame · Difficulty concentrating

Yet no matter how overwhelming the symptoms may seem, the good news is that your trauma is treatable. Still, it is wise to set expectations when dealing with trauma treatment.


Healing From Traumatic Experiences


Since Type 1 trauma is typically a singular event, your trauma treatment can be directed and specifically focused around that one traumatizing experience. Consequently, healing may be experienced faster than those suffering from chronic trauma (Type 2 trauma).

While Type 2 traumas are more common, they also tend to be more resistant to treatment. You may not be able to point to just one event that scarred you. Instead, there are usually a series of situations that left a lasting mark, like growing up in a family where you experienced constant tension, anxiety, and screaming. Or growing up food insecure, leaving you often feeling hungry, helpless, and uncertain about tomorrow.


While these types of ongoing traumatic circumstances may take more time and effort to resolve, take heart that with a dedicated trauma therapist using proven methods and treatments, your trauma can be left in the past. That is sometimes hard for people to believe when the response to trauma has made life difficult to manage and left you feeling out of control.


Trauma Response is Designed to Help You

As strange as it may sound, trauma response is actually your body’s natural way of protecting you in the moment when the trauma is occurring. Trauma is designed to make you hyper-alert, increasing your awareness of your surroundings and allowing for more blood flow to your muscles, enabling you to run faster if you need to get out of a situation.

While these responses are protective, the problem is when your brain triggers a trauma response when none is warranted. Those same physical experiences that are helpful in the moment of a trauma, become detrimental and negatively impact you on a day-to-day basis impeding your daily life and sense of calm.


Is My Trauma Really a Trauma?


It may be tempting to compare your trauma with someone else’s. Do you feel that your trauma isn’t significant enough to warrant attention or care?


Stop right there.

No one’s trauma is more important or devastating than another’s experience. Yet it is not uncommon for individuals to make unfair comparisons that downplay their own circumstances.


So why do we do that?

It is your mind’s way of protecting you to help you minimize your traumatic experiences to avoid certain destructive or unhelpful thought patterns. It is also a way to comfort yourself.


Sensing that, a therapist may urge you to release those uncomfortable feelings to allow them to come to the surface. This allows the opportunity to better evaluate, process, and manage those feelings and provides a way to find greater sense of healing and recovery from those experiences.


We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

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