Psychological trauma is the response to experiencing or witnessing an event that challenges your sense of safety and leaves you unable to cope. The body’s natural defenses take over during a traumatic event and create a stress reaction known as the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response, creating an intense rush of stress hormones, primarily cortisol. Typically, this reaction abates when a stressful event is over, and cortisol levels return to normal. However, sometimes the brain gets stuck in the trauma, impacting a person’s well-being.
Harmony Hills is a holistic mental health treatment center for adults. We understand that trauma can have severe and lasting impacts if left untreated. If you or a loved one is suffering from trauma, seeking help as soon as possible enables the traumatic event to be processed for optimal healing. Call us at 855.494.0357 to learn how our trauma therapy program can help.
What Are the Benefits of a Trauma Therapy Program?
Trauma is emotionally and psychologically painful and causes physical changes to the brain that are reversible with treatment. Untreated trauma typically leads to mental health disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. A trauma therapy program can help clients process trauma in a safe, supportive environment away from the triggers that can provoke symptoms. Some of the benefits of a trauma therapy program include:
- Reducing or eliminating the symptoms of trauma
- Shifting focus from the past to the present
- Processing trauma without being stuck in it
- Overcoming substance use disorders associated with trauma
- Improving daily functioning
- Learning to identify and cope with triggers in healthy ways
- Improving communication skills to foster healthy relationships
The effects of trauma are far-reaching and impact all areas of life, and are also highly individualized. Each individual will have unique reactions, even when a traumatic event is a shared experience. Traumatic events profoundly challenge a person’s sense of safety and security. How they perceive life may be changed, as can their perceptions of themselves and others, which can significantly impact their relationships.
How Trauma Affects Relationships
To understand how trauma affects relationships, we must first recognize the symptoms of trauma. While it’s true that trauma impacts everyone differently, there are some common symptoms, such as:
- Avoidance – Staying away from people, places, and things that are reminders of the trauma.
- Emotional numbness – Traumatized individuals often become withdrawn, and isolated, going numb to avoid the pain of trauma.
- Angry outbursts or uncontrollable rage – Demonstrating aggressive, angry behavior, including threats of physical violence.
- Fear and nervousness – Persistent fear that something terrible will happen again.
- Shame and guilt – Traumatized individuals often blame themselves, mainly when they’ve been the victim of a crime, leading to embarrassment, guilt, and shame that can become overwhelming.
- Prolonged bouts of grief and depression – A prolonged period of suffering can develop into major depression.
- Disrupted sleep patterns – Nightmares, wanting to sleep all the time, and periods of insomnia are typical.
It is clear to see how these symptoms can impact relationships. Additionally, living through trauma can create an expectation of danger, harm, or betrayal. Individuals lose their ability to trust and fear getting close to others to protect themselves. Alternatively, they may be angry at their perceived helplessness and become aggressive or try to control others.
How Trauma Impacts Family
Trauma impacts not only the individual who experienced it but the dynamics of the family. Family dynamics change as each family member processes how they were affected by the trauma and how it impacts their relationships within the family unit.
Inter-generational trauma can also impact families, which refers to the passing down the effects of a past traumatic event. An example of inter-generational trauma is sexual abuse, known to occur generationally because it is often never addressed. A parent who sexually abuses a child might have been sexually abused by their mother, who her father sexually abused.
The impacts of intergenerational trauma are profound. A grandparent who never genuinely healed from trauma can be challenged to provide support for their child, who, in turn, doesn’t have the skills to help their child. Denial and minimization are specific coping skills for inter-generational trauma.
Heal from the Impacts of Trauma at Harmony Hills
At Harmony Hills, we understand that reaching out for help for your trauma can feel scary. Our team ensures that your sense of safety, security, and well-being is our top priority. A trauma therapy program can help you address traumatic events and process your feelings and emotions to overcome the symptoms holding you back in life and help heal relationships. Call us at 855.494.0357 to learn more.