Nearly everyone in our busy world has experienced some form of trauma. From auto accidents to street violence to natural disasters, no one is immune from experiencing traumatic events. The intensity of the stress created by these events is different from event to event and person to person. Each of us has a different emotional response to these types of events. What our prior experience with trauma has been, and how often we’ve experienced traumatic situations, dictates how we will handle them in the future.
Immediately after a tragic event people often feel numb and in shock. This is normal, and usually goes away after several days. In some cases (about 30%) those who have experienced trauma may have longer term reactions that could include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is sometimes the end result of serious or persistent trauma. If you have experienced exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation, and have any of the following symptoms after more than a month following the traumatic event, you should consider getting help immediately:
o Re-experiencing spontaneous memories of the traumatic event, recurrent dreams related to it, flashbacks or other intense or prolonged psychological distress.
o Negative thoughts and mood, markedly diminished interest in activities, or an inability to remember key aspects of the event.
o Aggressive, reckless or self-destructive behavior, sleep disturbances, hyper-vigilance or related problems.
No one is immune to the impact of trauma. Trauma affects the individual, families, and communities by disrupting healthy development, adversely affecting relationships, and contributing to mental health issues including substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. At CHD our clinicians are trained in trauma informed treatment to help decrease or eliminate the effect of trauma on you and your family. Contact us at 1-844-CHD-HELP today.