IS HEALING FROM TRAUMA POSSIBLE?

Is healing from trauma possible? A question asked by many of our clients. The answer is ‘yes! It’s possible’. It is not a very easy process but it is worth it. Long term recovery involves healing trauma that usually begins at an early age. Trauma is our mind’s and body’s reaction to past painful experiences. Trauma can be emotional, physical, or environmental, and can range from emotional neglect to experiencing an accident. There are two main types of trauma: Shock trauma and Developmental trauma. Our team at P-R-C gives immense importance to trauma and facilitate the clients in processing their unresolved traumas.

At some point in our lives, we all tend to experience trauma. We at Clifton Karachi understand that childhood events have a greater impact on you then, than they would today because you didn’t have coping skills that an adult would have.

Childhood Trauma                   

Childhood can be traumatic when you are not given a safe space to be spontaneous, vulnerable, and authentic. It can have a negative impact on your emotional health. If you were ignored, bullied, shamed, or punished for expressing your thoughts or feelings or for being immature, imperfect, or for simply being your true self, it can leave scars on your emotional health. When people are neglected, emotionally or physically abandoned, or made to believe that they are worthless, can conclude they can’t trust or rely on anyone. They hide their true child self, and play an adult role before they’re ready.

Illness, separation, divorce, abuse, or loss of a parent or sibling also can be traumatic, depending upon the way in which parents handled it. Occurrences become harmful when they’re either chronic or severe to the extent that they overwhelm a child’s limited ability to cope with what was happening. How you’ve encountered these experiences are your wounds. Almost everyone manages to grow up, but the scars remain and account for problems in relationships and coping with reality. Deeper healing requires reopening those wounds, cleaning them, and applying the medicine of compassion.

Symptoms of Trauma

Trauma is subjective and differs from person to person. Each child in a family will react differently to the same experience and to trauma. It is witless to generalize trauma. Failing in a test might be traumatic for some and normal for others. Symptoms may wax and wane, and may not show up until years after the event. You do not need to have all of the following symptoms to have experienced trauma:

  • Overreacting to triggers that are reminders of the trauma.
  • Avoiding thinking, experiencing, or talking about triggers for the trauma.
  • Avoiding activities you once enjoyed.
  • Feeling hopeless about the future.
  • Experiencing memory lapses or inability to recall parts of trauma.
  • Having difficulty concentrating.
  • Having difficulty maintaining close relationships.
  • Feeling irritable or angry.
  • Feeling overwhelming guilt or shame.
  • Behaving in a self-destructive manner.
  • Being easily frightened and startled.
  • Being hyper vigilant (excessively fearful).
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there.
  • Having restricted feelings — sometimes numb or emotionally flat, or detached from emotions, other people, or events.
  • Feeling depersonalized; a loss of self or cut off from your body and environment — like you’re going through the motions.
  • Having flashbacks of scenes or reliving the past event.
  • Having dreams or nightmares about the past.
  • Experiencing insomnia.
  • Experiencing panic attacks.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among codependents who experienced trauma either as a child or adult. Diagnosis requires a specific number of symptoms that last for at least 30 days and may start long after the triggering event. Core symptoms include:

  • Intrusive thoughts in the form of dreams, waking flashbacks, or recurring negative thoughts.
  • Avoidance of reminders of the trauma, including forgetting or avoiding sleep and shutting down feelings or numbness.
  • Hyper arousal which puts your nervous system on alert, creating irritability, exhaustion, and difficulty relaxing and sleeping.

Trauma is emotionally and physically draining. Often a person has experienced several traumas, resulting in more severe symptoms, such as mood swings, depression, high blood pressure, and chronic pain.

Treatment of Trauma

Trauma can be emotional, physical, or environmental, and can range from experiencing an accident to emotional neglect. Revisiting time and feeling what was unexpressed, re-evaluating unhealthy beliefs and decisions, and getting acquainted with missing parts of yourself, is what healing trauma is like. Facing what happened is the first step in healing. Many people are in denial of their trauma which they had experienced in childhood, particularly if they grew up in a stable environment. If family wasn’t abusive, but emotionally unresponsive, you would still experience loneliness, rejection, and shame about yourself and feelings that you may have denied or completely repressed. This is emotional abandonment.

Our team of psychologists at Rehab Center believe that re-experiencing, feeling, and talking about what happened are significant parts of the healing process. Another important step in recovery is grieving what you’ve lost. Stages of grief include anger, depression, bargaining, sometimes guilt, and finally acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you approve of what happened, but you’re more objective about it without resentment or strong emotions. As you let go of built-up emotions from your past, you have more energy and motivation to invest and look forward to your future.

In this process, it is essential that you identify false beliefs you may have adopted as a result of the trauma and substitute with healthier ones. Usually, these are shame-based beliefs stemming from childhood shaming messages and experiences. Recovery also demands identifying and changing how you relate and talk to yourself that leads to undesirable outcomes and behavior and outcomes.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and trauma do not resolve on their own. It’s essential to get treatment as soon as possible. There are several treatment modalities recommended for healing trauma which we at PRC provide to our clients. For further assistance and queries, kindly visit PRC Clifton Karachi or call us at 0341-1959599.

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