How You May React
Deciding factors depend on past experiences, your sense of self, resilience, and support networks.
The earlier the trauma, the bigger the impact.
Trauma at different developmental stages impacts the development of the brain and nervous system.
Trauma can result from a single incident, or one-off situation where the person feels powerless/overwhelmed and this impacts their life.
Trauma could take the form of a natural disaster, a car accident, being in combat, in a war, domestic violence, or abuse including physical, emotional and/or sexual assault.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Trauma is commonly linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Traumatised people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies. The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort.
Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and numbing the awareness of what is played out inside.
“They learn to hide from their selves”
Bessel A. van der Kolk
Complex trauma results from trauma that is ongoing and (relational) between people.
It can take the form of abuse (verbal, physical, emotional, mental, financial).
The abused person feels trapped and the abuse is ongoing.
The impacts of continued abuse can be severe
- loss of sense of self
- issues with trust of self and others
- disruption to the nervous system
- mental and physical health deterioration
- overwhelming emotions
- issues with sleep
To cope with trauma people may self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, avoidance of situations and places that may remind them of the trauma.
The impacts of trauma can be devastating but can be helped through Counselling, Restorative Yoga, Mindfulness and Reiki.
Complementary Therapies have become increasingly popular in many different areas of health over the last 30 years, and mental health is no exception.
Examples of complementary therapies used in mental health include practices based on yoga, reiki and other meditative traditions. As well as techniques that incorporate dance, massage or other physical activities.