Suffering from Emotional and Psychological Trauma: What to Do?
The psychological trauma of a disaster, life, threatening event, or abuse can cause long-term damage to physical and emotional health. Trauma can leave an individual feeling fear, confusion, and despair and take away the safe world they had known.
After something terrible happens, it can take a while to recover from the traumatic events, and it will take time to feel emotionally secure again. Still, you can speed up your recovery with healthy strategies and support from others who understand, such as family, friends, or professional counselors.
What is Emotional and Psychological Trauma?
Emotional and psychological trauma is caused by highly stressful events which disrupt your sense of safety, creating a feeling of helplessness in an unpredictable and dangerous world. Although traumatic events typically involve a threat to life or safety, it is possible to be traumatized by emotionally overwhelming situations that do not involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event – the more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
Psychological trauma can create emotional distress, intrusive memories, and persistent anxiety. It can also lead to feelings of disconnection, numbness, and difficulty with trust. Prolonged exposure to stress or trauma can lead to cognitive difficulties. There’s a disruption to normal hormone function in which various behavior patterns and physical changes in the brain’s structure occur.
You may experience intense distress or reactions such as depression or anxiety during or immediately after a traumatic event – these symptoms usually build over time. It is essential to understand that healing from psychological trauma is an ongoing process, and seeking help from a professional should be considered when needed.
What are the Symptoms of Emotional and Psychological Trauma?
Recognizing signs of psychological trauma is vital since understanding more about it can help determine if you or someone you know might need professional help. In addition to being aware of these potential indicators, learning more about how it affects the brain, how mental health professionals treat it and finding specific ways to progress toward recovery can all assist with healing from your trauma.
The symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma can vary from person to person, but some common signs include the following:
- Intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic event
- Nightmares or flashbacks related to the event
- Avoidance of people, places, or activities that remind you of the trauma
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering details about the event
- Feelings of guilt, shame, or self
- Shock, denial, or disbelief
- Anxiety and fear
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
It’s important to understand that emotional and psychological trauma symptoms can be experienced differently and may not always be present. It’s also important to remember that healing from trauma is an ongoing process, and seeking help from a professional should be considered when needed.
What are the Effects of Untreated Trauma?
For some, emotional and psychological trauma can have long-lasting effects. Many go for years living with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions—experiencing anxiety, depression, traumatic flashbacks, poor self-image, and low levels of trust—as their world grows steadily smaller. The effects of untreated psychological trauma can be devastating. It can infiltrate nearly every aspect of an individual’s life, preventing them from having meaningful relationships or forming a positive outlook.
The most common effects of untreated trauma include substance abuse and alcoholism. People dealing with trauma often rely on drugs and alcohol to numb the pain they feel due to their experiences. Trauma also contributes to sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction in men or difficulty with arousal or orgasm in women. Infidelity is also much more likely for those struggling with emotional disturbances that accompany unresolved traumatic experiences.
How Do You Heal from Trauma?
When you talk about healing from a traumatic event, it’s crucial to remember that healing takes time and effort. The process is complex that requires time, patience, and support. It’s also needed to be understood that the healing is not linear, and there will be good and bad days. The following are some tips to help the process of healing from your trauma:
1. Acknowledge the Trauma: The first step in healing from trauma is acknowledging what happened and how it has impacted your life. This cannot be easy, but it is an essential step in healing.
2. Reach Out for Support: It’s important to find a support system of people who can help you through this difficult time. This could be family, friends, or even a therapist or counselor.
3. Practice Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is essential when dealing with trauma. Get enough rest, eat healthily, and engage in activities that bring you joy. Making an effort to exercise will create endorphins that can help you feel better.
4. Talk About It: Talking about your trauma can be difficult, but it is an integral part of the healing process. Find someone you trust, and in your own time, talk about your experience and how it has impacted your life.
5. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a great way to help manage trauma symptoms. Taking time to focus on the present moment and your breathing can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Do this by learning mindfulness techniques such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
6. Seek Professional Help: If you are struggling to cope with your trauma, it’s vital to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide a safe space for you to talk about your experience and work through any unresolved issues.
Get Support From A New Heights Mental Health Counselor
Trauma recovery is a long and challenging process, but healing is possible. With the proper support and self-care, you can begin to move forward with your life. New Heights counselors are mental health professionals specifically trained to help individuals who struggle with stress and anxiety from a traumatic event.
At New Heights, our therapists understand the unique needs of those who have experienced trauma and provide a safe, supportive environment to help you work through your emotions and develop coping skills. Our counselors are trained in evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). These therapies can help you identify and address the underlying causes of your trauma and work towards healing.
If you are struggling with emotional or psychological trauma, contact New Heights at (850) 757-1552 for help. Our counselors can provide the support and guidance you need to start your journey toward healing.
Other Mental Health Services Offered at New Heights Counseling
New Heights Counselor offers therapy for many issues, not just emotional and psychological trauma. We assist those who struggle with anger management, anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, addiction, abuse, trauma, PTSD, self-esteem, confidence, body image, eating disorders, and many more. We want you to feel comfortable enough to share your thoughts and feelings with us so that we can better understand your needs and help you find healing and wholeness.
Our services are for children, adolescents, and adults, and we offer in-person sessions at our Fort Walton Beach, FL location and online therapy for the state of Florida. The office is on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions here on Google Maps or visit our office location page.
Appointment Schedule (Last appointment – 4 PM)
Monday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Evenings/Weekends by Appointment
- Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Emotional & Psychological Trauma– Lake Behavioral Hospital
- Emotional And Psychological Trauma: What Is It and How To Heal? – Sunshine Clinic
- Welcome Video New Heights Counseling Founder & Clinical Director Colleen Wenner
About the Author:
Colleen Wenner is the founder and clinical director of New Heights Counseling, where she provides counseling services for individuals struggling with mental health issues. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master Certified Addiction Professional. Colleen is a certified supervisor in Florida and an EMDR trauma-certified practitioner and consultant in training. Colleen is committed to providing excellent client care and services the Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities.
Colleen has consistently advocated for mental health wellness and has dedicated her entire life to promoting awareness among the public. She has been featured on various podcasts such as Practice of the Practice (The #1 Podcast for counselors in private practice), Shrink Think Podcast, and The Salty Christan Podcast, to name a few. She has contributed to several Yahoo Best Life, Unfinished Man, AskMen, UpJourney, WebMD, PsychCentral, and Emotional Intelligence Magazine articles. Colleen uses compassionate and authentic communication to help clients understand themselves better and feel more confident about their ability to improve their lives.