When people hear the word trauma they think war veterans, rape victims, and physical abuse. Unfortunately, this keeps many people with trauma suffering in silence. The truth is, every person you meet, including yourself, has some sort of trauma.
Trauma can be:
- Childhood abuse (sexual/emotional/mental/physical)
- Dysfunctional Relationship (sexual/emotional/mental/physical)
- Childhood experiences (expectations/comparisons/criticism/limitations)
- Car Accident
- Had or having a serious illness
- Any Violent Crime (an actual victim or a witness)
- Work (a dysfunctional boss/toxic company culture)
- World Events (terrorism/regional strains/politics)
- History of Lack (of food, shelter, money, etc.)
- Being Incarcerated
- Natural Disasters
- War (military service/civilian)
- and the list goes on…
People respond to traumatic events in different ways. Often there are no visible signs, but people may have serious emotional reactions. Shock and denial shortly after the event are normal reactions and are often used to protect yourself from the emotional impact of the event. You may feel numb or detached and may not feel the event’s full intensity right away. For less severe trauma, you may show behaviors of not being comfortable with change, tend to not try new things, try to please everyone, perfectionism, and not being your authentic self.
Studies show moving past the initial shock usually takes 4–6 weeks from the event. Once you have moved past the initial shock, responses to a traumatic event may vary.
Common responses include:
- repeated memories of the event or flashbacks
- intense fear that the traumatic event will recur
- withdrawal and isolation from day-to-day activities
- continued avoidance of reminders of the event
- shifts in mood or changes in thought patterns
- sudden, dramatic mood shifts
- anxiety and nervousness
- depression that can occur along with traumatic stress
- difficulty concentrating
- altered sleeping or insomnia
- physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches and nausea
- worsening of an existing medical condition
- people pleasing
- avoid trying new things
- not saying what you want to say
- not being your authentic self but being who you think you should be
Sometimes people do not even think of the more passive and mild events as trauma and that they impact their behavior today. For more memorable trauma, it is common for people to say, “But that was a long time ago. I am over it.” Are you really? Or are you simply telling yourself that as a way to cope?
At Mindful InnerChange, we have proven methods that can release these stored emotions and allow you to heal. Changing your energy, your mind, and your story. Begin your healing journey.