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How to Handle the Effect of Trauma for Emotional Relief


You may have had one or many very upsetting, frightening, emotional pain or traumatic things happen to you in your life, or that threatened or hurt something you love—even your community. When these kinds of things happen, you may not “get over” them quickly. In fact, you may feel the effects of these traumas for many years, even for the rest of your life. Sometimes you don’t even notice effects of this emotional pain right after the trauma happens. Years later you may begin having thoughts, nightmares, and other disturbing symptoms. You may develop these symptoms and not even remember the traumatic thing or things that once happened to you.

For many years, the emotional pain that accompany this traumatic events that happened to people were overlooked as a possible cause of frightening, distressing, and sometimes disabling emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, phobias, delusions, flashbacks, and being out of touch with reality. In recent years, many researchers and health care providers have become convinced of the connection between trauma and these symptoms. They are developing new treatment programs and revising old ones to better meet the needs of people who have had traumatic experiences.
Examples of traumatic experience that may be giving us worrisome symptoms are:
• Physical and emotional, or sexual abuse
• Rejection
• War experiences
• Victim of robbery
• Outbursts of fury
• Rape
• Alcoholism and substance abuse (By you or members of your family)
• Physical ailments, post-surgery effects, and physical disabilities
• Hereditary sickness
• Divorce
• Loss of loved ones and friends
• Natural occurrence and disasters
• Accidents


How to Handle the Effect of Trauma


Certain traumatic experience by some people hardly bothers other people. If something that is of major concern and worrisome to you don’t seem to bother other people it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. The way people respond to experiences are different.

Do you feel that traumatic things that happened to you may be causing some or all of your distressing and disabling emotional symptoms? Examples of symptoms that may be caused by trauma include:

• Anxiety

• Insomnia

• Agitation

• Irritability or rage

• Flashbacks or intrusive memories

• Feeling disconnected from the world

• unrest in certain situations

• Being “shut down”

• Being very passive

• Feeling depressed

• Eating problems

• Needing to do certain things over and over

• unusual fears

• Impatience

• Always having to have things a certain way

• Doing strange or risky things

• having a hard time concentrating

• Wanting to hurt yourself

• being unable to trust anyone

• Feeling unlikable

• Feeling unsafe

• Using harmful substances

• Keeping to yourself

• Overworking

You may have been told that you have psychiatric or mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder or manic depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, obsessive—compulsive disorder, dissociative disorder, an eating disorder, or an anxiety disorder. The ways you can help yourself handle these symptoms are the things your health care providers suggest as treatment, would be helpful whether your symptoms are caused by trauma or by a psychiatric illness.


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