When you experience a traumatic event, your mind struggles to make sense of the occurrence. Instead of assimilating the information and emotions associated with the experience, you may struggle with disturbing memories, paranoia or a sense of danger. Dealing with psychological trauma may require professional treatment even if the traumatic event happened years ago.
What Is Psychological Trauma?
Trauma occurs when someone directly experiences or witnesses a situation that implicates death, the threat of violence or serious harm. Trauma can even happen when someone learns about a brutal experience that a close friend or a loved one has gone through.
Psychological trauma usually turns the tables on an individual’s feelings of trust and security. If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, you may be confused by the internal turmoil that you feel. This is because a violation is taking place on your idea of what the world is supposed to be.
Dealing With Psychological Trauma Depends On Individual Factors
Your trauma may be apparent, or it may be repressed or subconscious. Sometimes, children may find themselves dealing with psychological trauma from events that occurred when they were infants. Other times, people are fully aware of the events that caused the trauma.
Symptoms of psychological, physical, and emotional trauma vary, and they may last a lifetime if left without treatment. Some lingering signs of trauma include:
- Shame and self-blame
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Anxiety or fear
- Numbness and disconnection from the world
These symptoms can mimic those of other mental disorders. People who don’t learn constructive ways to cope with the trauma may try to self-medicate with drugs. In fact, studies show that people who have traumatic experiences may be at a higher risk of developing a substance abuse disorder.
Chemical substances can numb the pain and offer a distraction from the pain and confusing symptoms that come with trauma. They can also disguise co-occurring mental illnesses that can arise from a distressing event.
Treatment For Dealing With Psychological Trauma
Because trauma is widely defined, the approach to treatment should be multifaceted. Psychotherapy deals with psychological trauma. We can repress the emotions and events associated with trauma, and some therapists encourage patients to bring the memories and feelings into the conscious mind. Once we face these emotions, we can move past them. This can be painful, and it’s essential to have access to support while you go through this process.
Dealing with psychological trauma may also involve other evidence-based approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or eye movement sensitization and reprogramming. These types of therapy aim to disconnect specific triggers and patterns with intense emotional and behavioral responses.
Young people who undergo therapy for trauma often have to learn how to cope with stress healthily. Experiential therapy offers a hands-on way to manage challenges, gain self-confidence and work with others to learn how to trust the world again.
At Red Oak Recovery®, we offer gender-specific programs that provide a safe container in which young people can work through their experiences and move forward with healing. We provide holistic programs and trauma therapy for young adults as well as addiction treatment programs, including:
- Adventure therapy
- Dual diagnosis
- Gender-specific campuses
Psychological trauma underlies many mental and substance abuse disorders. Our trauma-informed clinical team is ready to work with people who have gone through distress. We work to help them create a fulfilling life on the other side. Call us at 866-457-7590 to find out how our addiction therapy services can help you in dealing with psychological trauma.