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Healing with Trauma Counselling
Trauma happens when a particularly distressing event is experienced, causing a deep psychological wound. And since these types of events don’t discriminate between age, gender, race, or financial status, it is clear that trauma is something that can happen to everyone. When it lingers, it becomes a mental health problem that often leads to the development of secondary issues, like depression and anxiety. When left untreated, the effects of trauma on quality of life can be devastating, overwhelming an individual to the point where basic tasks in day-to-day living is impossible. But there is no reason to suffer through this immense pain forever. Trauma and its consequences can be overcome. Trauma counselling is offered to those dealing with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) or other forms of trauma, so they can heal old wounds and restore balance to their wellbeing.
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What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
It’s entirely normal to have feelings of shock and stress after experiencing a traumatic event, like abuse, injury, death of a loved one, or violence. These feelings usually decrease over time, leaving you to return to life as normal. In cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the effects of an extreme trauma leave an individual unable to move on with life afterwards. They are overwhelmed by emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma, and don’t have the tools to cope in a healthy way. PTSD can occur when you are part of a traumatic experience, or simply from witnessing something horrific happening to someone else.
Symptoms of PTSD
There are a few key indicators to PTSD that mental health professionals look out for when diagnosing the condition. Negative feelings, like fear, anger, and guilt are constant and overwhelming, affecting an individual’s ability to cope with everyday life. Reliving the traumatic event over and over, plagued by upsetting memories through flashbacks or recurring nightmares. It’s also common for depression, anxiety, and addiction to alcohol or drugs to develop during this time. Insomnia, panic attacks, and self-destructive thoughts or actions are also common.
Causes of PTSD
As mentioned above, experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event is the most common cause of post-traumatic stress disorder. Since people have varying vulnerabilities, a traumatic event to one might not be that way to another. However, extreme traumas like the death of a loved one, rape, war, domestic abuse, natural disasters, kidnapping, terrorist attacks, child abuse, and even being diagnosed with a terminal illness are all likely to cause PTSD. Not everyone will be affected in the same way, but if the effects of your emotional and psychological distress are so overwhelming that you cannot function in everyday life it is advisable you seek treatment for PTSD immediately. .
Treatment for Trauma
Trauma counselling is one of the most notable ways to deal with PTSD or any other form of trauma. Mental health specialists advise that psychotherapy, or talk therapy, be initiated before turning to medication, since therapy is the only way through which true healing can happen. It not only helps the individual come to terms with the traumatic event, but delves into possible reasons why they’ve been so affected by it, and how they can move on to deal with lingering symptoms in ways that are healthy and progressive. Therapy for trauma gets to the emotional and psychological root of the problem, and helps with associated depression and anxiety as well.
Prescribed drugs are rarely used as a stand-alone trauma treatment, but rather combined with focused trauma counselling. Acute symptoms are taken into account and treated accordingly, which means that medication for PTSD usually consists of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. These help manage secondary symptoms of the associated conditions and help improve sleep, regulate mood, increase concentration, and relieve stress and anxiety. Medication for PTSD is not intended for long-term use, and you are slowly weaned as progress in your condition occurs. With peace from these often debilitating symptoms, an individual is then free to focus on the positive healing aspects of counselling.
Most natural methods for dealing with PTSD involve addressing the acute symptoms that arise from the condition. For instance, breathing techniques will help with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear. Regular exercise and mental health go hand in hand. Exercise is another tried and tested way to relieve stress and anxiety, and also helps improve sleep and decrease negative feelings associated with depression. Desensitization is a process often brought up in trauma counselling, but can be done on your own. It involves remembering the traumatic event while thinking about or looking at something positive. It’s a way to disengage the negativity that PTSD associates with that event.
When PTSD is left Untreated
A human brain can only endure a certain amount of heightened stress and anxiety. If these overwhelming feelings of panic, fear, depression, etc. continue untreated for a prolonged period, the brain will shut down as a defense mechanism. But first, acute symptoms will worsen, leading to severe depression, addiction, rage or unpredictable mood swings, and constant negative thoughts about suicide. In effect, an individual’s work will suffer, their interpersonal relationships will break down, and they will find it impossible to carry on with life in any satisfying way. PTSD is not a condition that will go away on its own. Symptoms may start out as manageable, but are guaranteed to spiral out of control as time passes. We know that it’s normal to be traumatized after a distressing event, but if feelings do not decrease over time and instead get much worse, then it’s a clear sign to seek help.
Finding Help for PTSD
If you have experienced a traumatic event and the symptoms outlined above describe your struggle, then you may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is unlikely to get better on its own, but thankfully it is not something you have to suffer through forever. Finding help is as easy as speaking to your psychiatrist or general practitioner and sharing your experience. They will be able to give you a referral for professional intervention. There is no shame in seeking help for PTSD and the alternative could be devastating for you and your loved ones. At ZwavelStream Clinic we specialize in trauma counselling, and our specialists are on-call 24/7 to help you begin your journey to healing with utmost care and understanding. Feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions, or wish to talk to one of our mental health professionals about your condition and how we can help.
Taking the first step to mental health involves determining whether you may have a problem. Our quick online questionnaire will assist you do that.