Are The After Effects Of Trauma Impacting Your Ability To Feel Well And Function With Ease?
Are you struggling with the after effects of trauma? Do you often feel either anxious and on edge or lethargic and foggy? Perhaps you vacillate between the two. Are you experiencing physical discomforts such as insomnia, digestion problems, a racing heartbeat or tingling in your arms or legs? Maybe the trauma has left you struggling to connect with or trust others, which is impacting your relationships. Or perhaps you feel unable to use your voice, set and maintain healthy boundaries or properly care for yourself. Do you often feel shame and guilt or suffer from self-doubt and low self-esteem? Have you turned to drugs or alcohol to numb out or cope with stress and pain? Have you tried talk therapy in the past, but still feel consumed with uncertainty, fear or feelings of depression or anxiety? Do you wish you could find a way to process trauma, work through anxious, heavy feelings and feel balanced, calm and able to handle your world?
Dealing with the after effects of trauma can be an isolating, confusing and even seemingly helpless experience. You may feel unmotivated or lethargic one moment, only to feel highly charged and emotionally heightened the next. It may feel difficult to connect with people in your life, especially if you often feel irritable or isolated. Maybe it seems that your loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through. Furthermore, intrusive thoughts, memories of the trauma or anxious feelings might make it hard to stay present with the people around you and focus on tasks at hand. Work, relationship, family life and self-esteem issues may have you feeling overwhelmed and unsure if relief is possible.
Trauma Is Extremely Common In Our Culture
Trauma occurs every day, and very few of us make it through life without being affected by a situation or event that causes us to question our safety and general wellbeing. Some people experience developmental trauma in childhood through abuse or neglect. Growing up in volatile environments, where parents were unavailable or harsh, can impact our ability to feel secure in adult relationships, set and maintain healthy boundaries and have a solid sense of self.
People also experience situational trauma through significant events, such as accidents, combat, sexual assaults and natural disasters, which can lead to persistent feelings of fear and unsafety. And, whether developmental or situational, ongoing or unresolved trauma can lead to complex trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma also comes in smaller, less dramatic forms. Incidents like a parents’ divorce or falling off a bike can create trauma. Trauma affects everyone differently, and what is highly traumatic for one person may not impact another as severely. Essentially, trauma is tied to perception and generally occurs following a threatening situation that happened suddenly, in which we felt overwhelmed and helpless to protect others or ourselves.
When presented with an ominous situation, the body goes into fight/flight so we can protect ourselves. When we’re unable to fight or flee, the body freezes. When the energy we create to protect ourselves is not expended through running or fighting back, it gets stuck in the body, which leads to the experience of trauma. Trauma needs to be discharged somatically, which is why talk therapy alone rarely helps to process trauma fully and produce long-term, sustainable healing.
The good news is that somatic therapy has been proven to be highly effective in treating trauma. With the right approach, the help and support of an experienced and compassionate trauma therapist and a willingness to engage in the somatic therapy process, it is possible for you to heal from trauma and experience more calm, balance and joy in your life.