Trauma is a Greek word for ‘Wound’. The trauma we had as a kid is still a massive part of us. It dictates our behavior, our way of working, and our decisions. Traumas can even take a dark turn, in some instances people might turn to alcohol to dampen the weakening feeling. Trauma may refer to a disturbing event of the past. It may trigger feelings of loss of control, betrayal, abuse of power, helplessness, and loss. The symptoms of trauma may be severe or negligible ranging from suicidal thoughts to actually committing suicide. Panic attacks, depression, drug abuse are other symptoms. One of the most common feelings being isolation and not being able to complete daily tasks. Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event.
It is subjective in nature, for one person trauma may be as minor as failing an exam while for others it may be domestic violence. One cannot predict if a happening of an event is traumatic for another person or not, it’s totally subjective. There are no quick fixes to trauma. It might take years of therapy or may go with you to the grave. As per the study, 60-70 percent of North Americans experience a traumatic event, showcasing the seriousness of the matter. One of the significant factors that account for trauma is flashbacks which cause a person to revisit the situation they have already been in. Trauma leaves us emotionally and physically damaged, while we can recover from the physical damage but it’s really challenging to overcome the emotional damage. The physical symptoms of trauma include excessive sweating, shaking, sleep disturbances, and inability to speak.
THE FOLLOW UP
Many people get confused between Trauma and Acute Stress disorder, although the immediate response is the same they are different. When we talk about Acute Stress Disorder, we need to keep in mind that it is temporary and will fade with time which is the exact opposite of Trauma. The follow up of trauma is PTSD which refers to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD commonly starts within the three months of the event or maybe after. As a PTSD patient, one relives the traumatic event again and again and it starts to eat them up. It is difficult to live a traumatic event once, imagine living it again and again. Around 7 to 8 percent of the total population suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, involving reliving a situation that leaves them high and dry.
The symptoms of PTSD are categorized into four divisions. The first category includes intrusion which involves repeated involuntary memories, distressing dreams, and re-experiencing the trauma. The second category reflects a behavioral change when the sufferer starts avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations which trigger distressing memories. The third category showcases the inability of the person to remember things due to continuous negative thoughts clouding their mind. The person often tries to isolate himself from people. They shart to blame others or themselves for the happening of the event, having difficulty in finding a positive aspect in things is an impossible task for them. The fourth symptom is the response to things, they start engaging in a self-destructive manner. They start having anger outbursts and showcase reckless behavior, not only that but they start suspecting people and have difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
THE DARK SIDE TO TRAUMA
Did you know that women are twice more likely to be affected by PTSD than men? It all starts with denial. A person suffering from a trauma like an alcoholic denies it. Denial is the first stage followed by anger, fear, sadness, shame, confusion, anxiety, depression, then guilt. It is like a chain of thoughts. Their mind is always wandering and to stop it from revisiting the dark place, they turn to alcohol. Trauma is not only a term for adults, many people have childhood traumas. For child neglect, unstable and unsafe environment, separation from a parent can cause a trauma which they have to deal with throughout their life. One might not know what triggers them which leads to insomnia. Insomnia may occur as lurking fears and insecurity keeps the person vigilant and on the lookout for danger both day and night.
Our mental health is deteriorating with the advancement of technology, now we compare ourselves with others constantly. We cannot predict what triggers us but what we can do is ask for help. With the help of exercise, mindfulness, the support one can avoid PTSD. We as humans are attention seekers we need all the love and affection, we can connect to people and keep the thoughts of the past in the past. With the proper medications and psychiatric help, one has the possibility of getting out of the dark circle. We have to, we have to admit that the scars are not going anywhere but we got to learn to live with them.