What’s the Best Way to Heal from Trauma?

Trauma comes in many forms and can affect a person in numerous ways, including some that aren’t always blatantly obvious. Meanwhile, those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often left to handle the symptoms on their own. That’s because, until recently, there weren’t many treatment options available.

However, modern science has taught us a lot about the effects of trauma on the brain. As it turns out, traumatic experiences can cause major mental illnesses and significantly decrease the quality of someone’s life. Thus, psychological experts have worked hard over the last few decades to create effective therapies for anxiety, stress, and PTSD. Now, you finally get to heal.

What is the definition of trauma?

The definition of trauma is simple, but the effect it has on the human psyche is complex. PTSD is commonly caused by extreme mental and emotional pain or shock. It’s typically characterized by specific symptoms which change how a person normally acts in various situations. Usually, it’s the result of an accident, a natural disaster, an injury, loss, or violence.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is therefore an emotional response to terrifying and/or disturbing experiences. The way a person handles those experiences dictates the severity of their trauma response. Therefore, PTSD is often separated into three main categories:

  1. Acute
  2. Chronic
  3. Complex

Because the human brain is such a complicated organ, with an intricate neurological system to match, it can be difficult to determine whether you or someone you love is suffering. So, find out as soon as possible by taking this simple test at home. If the results show that there’s a risk, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

The most common symptoms of PTSD:

Understanding the effects of trauma on the brain requires accurate information about the symptoms. Knowing how to tell if someone has ptsd is tricky unless they’ve been diagnosed by a mental health professional. Still, these are some of the most common symptoms associated with the disorder:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Frequent panic attacks
  • Agoraphobia
  • Relationship instability
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Flashbacks
  • Mood swings 
  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Guilt or shame
  • Sadness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty concentrating

As you can see, the effects of trauma can have a major impact on a person’s life, especially if the symptoms are left untreated for too long.  

5 ways PTSD can negatively affect your life:

Aside from the potential symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder can present other serious problems for those who deal with it. Here are five good examples:

#1. You may start to feel powerless and scared:

Many times, people with PTSD relive their painful experiences whether they want to or not. Their incessantly negative thoughts then change the way they see the world and how they react to stimuli.

#2. You’ll be less motivated to engage in things:

Certain people, places, and things could start to remind a traumatized person of their incident, thereby making it harder to engage in social activities or go out in public. Over time, that can cause major issues.

#3. Your sleep patterns and eating habits may change:

Nightmares and nausea can make it feel impossible to get some rest or eat a healthy diet. After a while, malnutrition and exhaustion can take their toll on the sufferer’s physical wellbeing.

#4. You may experience quarrels with loved ones:

The mood swings, hostility, guilt, and shame may add up to produce hard feelings, contempt, and bitterness between friends and partners. If you don’t get it under control, it can ruin your relationships.

#5. You’re likely to feel alienated and alone:

Because trauma can cause such irrational behaviors that not everybody understands, it’s common for someone suffering to feel isolated from society. They may even do things that make that even worse.

Nobody wants to live in such a way that it reduces the quality of their life. That’s why it’s important to find ways to deal with the symptoms or completely heal from the trauma you’ve experienced. 

The 6 best ways to heal from trauma

PTSD therapy aims to reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Specialized tactics can be used to help you recognize and manage triggers as well. Over time, the right treatments can boost your self-esteem and return some normalcy to your life.

Each person has a different set of needs and will thus require individualized treatment. There are six main therapeutic options available:

#1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

This treatment option uses various techniques to help transform the thought patterns and behaviors that cause disturbances in your life.

#2. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT):

With CPT, you take a few months to talk and write openly about the traumatic events in your life in hopes of determining new ways of dealing with it.

#3. Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET):

This treatment uses immersion to help PTSD sufferers confront their fears head-on and is usually guided by trained professionals who focus on safety first.

#4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDP):

Therapists use moving hands, flashing lights, and repetitive sounds to mimic the brain waves associated with trauma while patients concentrate on the details thereof.

#5. Stress Inoculation Training (SIT):

This is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy which is done in a group setting wherein you learn new skills that double as stress relief and coping mechanisms.

#6. Prescription Medication:

Certain medications can help balance the brain chemicals and neurotransmitters that are responsible for many involuntary trauma responses.

When to get help from PTSD:

Get help with trauma and/or PTSD when it starts disrupting your life or causing other mental health disorders. And don’t try to self-medicate with illicit drugs or risky behaviors. Instead, talk to a licensed therapist for guided support.

The takeaway:

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. But you can heal from it when you recognize the signs and seek the correct therapies in time.

Ariana Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelance content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is the co-founder of bigjarnews. She contributes to many authority blogs such as Thepetsmagazine.