After a distressing or disturbing event, people may feel overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness, etc. These events are commonly known as traumatic events, and a person’s response to such events is trauma. People facing trauma might also feel a diminished sense of self and decreased ability to feel emotions and experiences.
Some typical traumatic events are abuse, assault, divorce, unemployment, physical injuries, serious illness, sexual harassment, loss of a loved one, abandonment, violence, etc. Here is everything you should know about trauma’s types, symptoms, and treatments.
What are the types of trauma?
Different traumatic events last for different time duration. Moreover, there might be some traumatic events that go unnoticed by others. Here are the three primary types of trauma:
Any trauma that is a response to any single accident falls in the category of acute trauma. It only lasts a few weeks and shows the same symptoms as any other category. Events like accidents and natural disasters can lead to acute trauma.
Trauma developed due to repeated exposure to the same traumatic event leads to chronic trauma. It can last for months and years. Events like dealing with chronic illness, facing repeated domestic violence, etc., fall in this category.
When a person or child is exposed to multiple traumatic events in their lifetime, they develop complex trauma. These events are highly invasive and interpersonal. Traumatic events like abuse or profound neglect cause complex trauma.
How to identify trauma?
Before going for trauma therapy, you should know that you are facing trauma. For the same, you can observe yourself for the following symptoms of trauma:
- Hyper alertness
After a traumatic event, you might feel more on guard and over-conscious about your surroundings. This is a protective response of your body to keep you safe from any possible threats. But this mechanism will be more profound after any traumatic event.
- Invasive feelings and memories
You are likely to experience intrusive thoughts after a traumatic event, especially when you face something that reminds you of the event.
- Feeling vulnerable
We usually feel the world is a safe place, but that is shattered after a traumatic event. You might feel more and more unsafe in any place or situation. The feeling of anxiety can be common while feeling unsafe. Even the places which seemed safe can feel unsafe.
- The fight-flight response
Your body will be on edge after a traumatic event. It is natural to opt for protection during danger, but you’ll be more sensitive after any such event. The fear and anxiety will alert the body to choose to flee, freeze, or fight in time.
You might also face other symptoms like loss of interest, avoidance, dizziness, insomnia, nightmares, etc.
What are possible treatments?
You can go for trauma therapy or a trauma-informed recovery coach with certification. Other treatment methods include medications and developing healthy coping strategies.
- Recovery Coaching
A person with trauma-informed recovery coaching certification can help you understand and explore your trauma. They will also help you use it in the form of resilience.
Trauma therapy can include several different therapeutic approaches. A psychotherapist will most commonly use cognitive-behavioral therapy to let you evaluate and replace negative thoughts with realistic ones.
If you are diagnosed with any mental disorder like PTSD due to trauma, a psychiatrist can recommend some medications like anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.
People can pursue unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or drugs, but it is essential to move towards healthier coping mechanisms like social support, self-validation, self-care, etc. Spending time around your loved ones can also help.
How does Trauma-informed recovery coaching help?
As discussed before, a certified trauma-informed recovery coach is not qualified to perform therapies like a psychotherapist, but they work on the principle of making you self-dependent. They are trained in client regulation and brain-body connection with enough knowledge of trauma, its symptoms, responses, and types.
A coach never controls a client’s life and decisions but encourages and guides them. The client is allowed to explore their feelings in a safe space, and the coach, along with them, examines potential decisions. You will indeed feel empowered after trauma-informed recovery coaching.
The Last Statement
Trauma can lead to severe medical conditions; hence, neglecting any symptoms of distress is not recommended. If you feel that you went through a traumatic event, it is best to visit a trained trauma-informed recovery coach with certification or a psychotherapist ASAP!