The statistics surrounding trauma are nothing short of eye-opening: 70% of American adults report at least one traumatic event, and two-thirds of children experience trauma before the age of 16. To give you an idea of the effects these experiences can have on your mental health, trauma is considered the leading factor in most behavioral and substance use disorders.
From reshaping how you view your world to serious issues with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the experienced mental health team here at Plymouth Psych Group understands all too well the role that trauma can play in your overall wellness. And we’re here to help.
Here’s a look at the many ways in which trauma can affect your life, and what we can do to help you move past the experience.
When you hear the word “trauma,” you may immediately think of a violent act or combat, but trauma can take on many other forms. To be sure, violence meets most anyone’s definition of trauma, but trauma can also be unique to the person experiencing the event.
To give you an idea of some of the more common events that people consider traumatic, the following are those that people cite most often:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Medical interventions
- Death (or loss) of a loved one
- Child neglect
- Community violence
- Natural disasters
- Divorce or break up of a long term relationship *Your own or your parents
- Experiencing Domestic Violence
- Having a loved one in jail
As you can see by this list, there are any number of experiences or events that can leave a long-lasting mark.
Trauma and your mental health
Trauma can affect your mental health in myriad ways, contributing to the development of PTSD, substance use disorders, anxiety, and depression. Trauma can also affect your physical health in the short and long term. New studies have found trauma to be linked to increased chance of heart disease, cancer and diabetes just to name a few.
Of the 70% of people in the US who experience trauma, 20% go on to develop PTSD. The hallmarks of this disorder include but not limited to the following are:
- Intrusive thoughts and memories, including flashbacks and nightmares
- Negative thoughts, moods, and feelings
- Heightened reactivity (Hypervigilance)
These symptoms can last for years and often don’t go away until you get help.
Substance use disorders
Many people who are imprisoned by trauma turn to substances to deal with their symptoms. side effects. This type of self-medication can quickly lead to a substance use disorder.
While many people don’t develop clinical PTSD after a traumatic event, they still struggle with anxiety issues. If you’ve been through a traumatic experience, your view of the world may change and you can become more anxious in general.
Trauma can contribute to mood disorders like depression and even lead to trauma-induced depression.
Moving past your trauma
No matter how trauma has affected your life, our goal is to help you process it and move past the experience so you can lead a happy, productive life. After assessing the impact that trauma has had on your mental health, we design an appropriate treatment plan that might include psychotherapy, medications, group counseling, and lifestyle changes.
If you want to break free from the grips of trauma, your first step is to contact our office and we can help and be part of your journey.