Trauma

Psychological trauma is a response to an event that a person finds highly stressful. Examples include being in a war zone, a natural disaster, or an accident. Trauma can cause a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms.
Unlike other types of mental health conditions, traumatic disorders have a clear cause. These disorders can cause symptoms that are similar to other conditions, such as anxiety disorders or depression. A mental health care provider can help you get an accurate diagnosis, so you can get the best possible treatment.

Types of Trauma

Acute trauma: This results from a single stressful or dangerous event.

Chronic trauma: This results from repeated and prolonged exposure to highly stressful events. Examples include cases of child abuse, bullying, or domestic violence.

Complex trauma: This results from exposure to multiple traumatic events.

Symptoms of Trauma

People who experience persistent or severe symptoms of trauma should seek help from a mental health professional. It is especially important to seek help if the trauma symptoms interfere with daily functioning or relationships with others.

Emotional & psychological symptoms:
  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
Physical symptoms:
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Being startled easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle tension

Therapy for Trauma

Therapy is a first-line treatment for trauma. Ideally, an individual will work with a trauma informed or trauma focused therapist. Common therapies for trauma include cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and somatic experiencing.

Seek help for trauma if you’re:
  • Having trouble functioning at home or work
  • Suffering from severe fear, anxiety, or depression
  • Unable to form close, satisfying relationships
  • Experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
  • Avoiding more and more anything that reminds you of the trauma
  • Emotionally numb and disconnected from others
  • Using alcohol or drugs to feel better

Find Help at Psychiatric Associates

We make it as easy as possible to get the care you need–from online booking to convenient telehealth appointments. We’re here to help.