The word trauma is a mental health term that is often associated with veterans and situations of intense violence. This is a misconception of huge proportions. In its most basic form, trauma describes a state of deep distress in relation to a disturbing experience. In this sense, everyone has experienced trauma to a certain degree. Trauma can present itself through a variety of disturbing experiences such as physical or sexual assault, abuse, and an accident or disaster. A never-ending list of events can cause someone to experience trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms. At Peer Mental Wellness, located in Santa Ana, California, our team offers a range of mental health therapy services aimed at getting our patients the quality of life they deserve.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is based on the emotional response people have to terrible events that occur within their lives. After these events, shock and feelings of denial are often normal. However, over time, trauma can lead to unexpected emotional reactions and flashbacks and can even cause nausea and headaches. The most common responses to trauma are the following:
- Unexpected/unpredictable emotions: Emotions can manifest themselves in various ways after a traumatic event, but often these feelings can come up unexpectedly and in ways that don’t necessarily make sense at the moment.
- Physical symptoms: Physical symptoms can include but are not limited to headaches, nausea, and panic attacks.
- Changes in behavior patterns: Flashbacks are often sensationalized through movies and various forms of media, but in reality, they can be an intense and scary experience. After a traumatic event, individuals may experience repeated and graphic memories of the event. These moments can be triggered through external stimuli but may also occur for no reason at all and cause increased heart rate and sweating. These symptoms can affect appetite and sleep and can detract from the individual’s quality of life.
- Sensitivity towards the environment: Some of the most common triggers for individuals experiencing trauma come from many environmental factors such as loud sounds, certain smells, or sensations.
- Strained personal relationships: Trauma can make people more irritable, which can go on to create an increase in the conflicts that occur within their personal lives. These conflicts can strain relationships with our loved ones and cause people to become disengaged or socially withdrawn.
These feelings can be normal after a traumatic event, but they may be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder if these feelings persist. Unfortunately, determining if and the extent to which an individual may experience trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder cannot be done through something as simple as a blood test. The best way to determine if you are experiencing trauma or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder is to talk to a professional.
Trauma Treatment in Los Angeles
Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder can be incredibly difficult to live with if left untreated. However, there are many mental health therapy services available to treat trauma and help clients improve their quality of life. The following is a list of the most common forms of therapy used to treat trauma.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy explores the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It targets trauma-based symptoms through open discussion and dialogue between therapist and patient.
- Cognitive processing therapy: This form of therapy helps patients alter and do away with unwanted beliefs, intrusive thoughts, and behavior patterns.
- Prolonged exposure: Prolonged exposure therapy encourages patients to address their trauma head-on and come to terms with the pain they have been avoiding.
If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic event, there is no better time than the present to get them the help they need to live a happy, healthy life.
Trauma Counseling in Los Angeles Is Just a Phone Call Away at Peer Mental Wellness
The symptoms of trauma do not simply go away on their own but rather require the experience and guidance of a professional through targeted trauma counseling. Learn the coping skills necessary to get back control and enjoy the quality of life you deserve.
Contact us today at Peer Mental Wellness at 714.844.5473 to speak to one of our specialists to learn more about trauma and trauma-based therapy.