Needing to know what emotional trauma mean is a valid question. It’s not like a broken leg that you can see with your eyes. You can’t see emotions they’re invisible to the naked eye. So we need to know what these “terms” mean.
The definition of emotional trauma is anything that happens to a person that totally overwhelms them. The stress this event causes is so severe it overwhelms. I was drug-raped when I was 17 and the stress that caused me was so overwhelming it took a year for it to clear. It was like living in a mist. Even now, when I look back, it’s through a mist.
So emotional trauma is when stress caused by an event is so overwhelming that a person can’t cope and unable to integrate the emotions involved with that experience.
If you consider the state of the world today it’s not hard to see traumatic events all around us. Are there any of us who remember the World Trade Center being hit by two planes without feelings of horror and fear? It was a traumatic event – it happened 3,000 miles from where I live – but that didn’t matter I felt the horror and viciousness of the attack. People all over the world were shook by those events and felt scared it might happen where they live.
Recently in France there have been attacks causing tragedy and anxiety to people directly involved. Yet also affected are people, not directly involved, but witnessed what happened. They also will suffer emotional trauma.
All of us who see these events on TV from a distance will also be touched by these things, not to the same degree perhaps, but all people are affected once they’ve seen it and global news makes sure of that. We’re exposed to events on a daily basis that can cause emotional trauma.
The most common anxiety disorder resulting from traumatic events is Post Traumatic Syndrome. Most of us have heard of this and may think of returning personnel from war zones.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD as it’s also known as is an anxiety disorder. The symptoms are
- flashbacks of the event
- withdrawing from people
- emotional numbness
- a desire to be alone
- not sleeping well
- not eating properly
- drinking too much
PTSD can be treated successfully. But not all people recover from PTSD completely.
If You Feel You Are Suffering from an Emotional Traumatic Event – You May Need Help
It’s entirely possible to be in this situation. I suffered PTSD after the drug rape experience and didn’t have a clue. I knew nothing about PTSD and would never have applied it to me even if I had. So it’s possible to be suffering and have no idea as to why.
You can contact me, I’m a qualified Crisis Counselor, or, contact your local Medical Practitioner for advice and guidance. But you do need to get help from somebody so you can move on and have a happier lifestyle.
How Do I Cope In Today’s World of Crisis and Trauma?
That’s a valid question for today’s wold isn’t it? Every time you switch on the news or pick up a newspaper it’s full of horrible, scary stories.
We have no control over these stories, but bear in mind that news stations are chasing ratings and newspapers chase readership figures. Unfortunately bad news sells. So they’ve always been that way and they’ll always stay that way.But in general with Mental Health the guide you’re looking for is balance.
- Balance in all all areas of life
- Mental, physical and spiritual
It’s not a scientific fact that I can explain to you – or give you an equation you can follow. But I believe when your life is in a position of balance you’ll feel healthy with energy to do the things you want to do. You’ll enjoy yourself without guilt and you will live in harmony with those around you. You’ll believe it’s fun just being alive! And that’s a great way to feel.
When one part of your life is unbalanced it will show up in your life as a lack of energy, or you’ll see yourself withdrawing from others, you’ll maybe loose a bit of concentration, you’ll start to feel unwell. These are some of the signs that your life isn’t in balance. And when you become aware. You’ll need to stop and research the three areas of life: mental, physical and spiritual to discover where the problem is.
There are plenty of tools to help you with this. But what I focus on is the things that helped me the most to recover from the trauma of the drug rape.
I had major problems that went right to the core of my being. Like shame, I felt so shamed about what happened. And guilt. I felt that somehow or another this thing was my fault. Something I’d done had caused it.
I lost trust in people but most of all I lost trust in myself.
These are all big issues to have to deal with, let alone be left without any help but being told, “You’re young, you’ll get over this”. and “Put it behind you”.
But three tools are what saved me from deep unhappiness I had. I got my life back and when I was healed, I found I was a stronger, tougher person than before.
What helped me and what I teach others is: journaling. Meditation. Creative art therapy. I owe the quality of my life to these three valuable tools and I’m so grateful to the people who taught me.
What Damage Can Emotional Trauma do to My Body?
It’s not so much your body that gets damaged, the trouble lies in your brain. Trauma changes the brain, during trauma our brains go into a state of paralysis until it decides the best reaction to the threat. The choice is fight or flight. But when the level of stress is too high the normal state and response of the brain is changed and basically remains in a state of high alert. And this state will remain.
Not all people who endure trauma go on to develop PTSD in fact it’s only 20% of people that go on to develop the symptoms. Again not all of those 20% will heal from their PTSD. But it’s not all bad news, the good news is that the key to healing lies in a person’s ability to commit time and effort to finding the correct treatment that works for them.
Like all healing its not one size fits all. We’re all different so need to persevere and stick to finding what works best. There have been veterans returning from war zones who formed drama groups. They found enormous relief to acting out to the drama of Shakespeare and it helped in their healing. I find that amazing, what a fabulous way to heal – by acting out you can express emotions through another character not connected to you at all. So you can let it all out without fear and without judging yourself.
So although emotional trauma has the capacity to change the brain, its not permanent and can be healed. It’s a case of sticking to the plan and finding what works best for you. I relate to that because it took me so long to find what worked for me and I understand how that can affect you. But you have to keep going. What kept me going was a deep desire to get rid of the pain I felt. All day, every day. As horrible as that was it did at least serve a a great motivator for me to keep going.
But whatever you do … …
Don’t Enjoy the Rut You Live In – It’s Uncomfortable and Frustrating
You can get stuck in a rut in life, we all do, we don’t always know it’s a rut until someone points it out, then you say,
“That sounds just like me”.
And think that person was speaking directly to us. How many times have you listened to a speaker and felt that person was speaking directly to you?
Or we do know we’re in a rut, but don’t know what to do about it.
So here’s your chance. Contact me – the email address is at the top. Or just sign up to get new posts. Join the community and know you’re not on your own anymore.
If you want to know more or need anymore information let me know via the comments. If I can help you in any way leave a note in the comments.
But don’t be quiet don’t remain on your own. Join us.
As ever, take care and remember,