One of the fascinating things I learned as a trauma survivor and healer is the dramatic impact unhealed trauma has on our physical, emotional, and mental health. I ran from my difficult experiences and mistakes for many years, eventually collapsing into burnout.
Healing and learning to embrace my lived experiences, accomplishments, and flaws, changed my entire life. If you or someone you love struggles with trauma, know that personal pain can become a superpower.
Here are some ways in which trauma can affect humans:
1. Psychological impact: Trauma can cause various psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health disorders. These symptoms can be acute, meaning they occur immediately after the traumatic event, or can be delayed and emerge months or even years later.
2. Physical impact: Trauma can also have physical effects on the body, including chronic pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite. It can also increase the risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
3. Behavioral impact: Trauma can also impact an individual's behavior, leading to substance abuse, self-harm, or other harmful coping mechanisms.
4. Interpersonal impact: Trauma can impact an individual's relationships with others, as they may struggle with trust, intimacy, and feelings of safety and security.
It's important to note that the impact of trauma can vary depending on a range of factors, including the severity of the event, the individual's coping mechanisms and support system, and their past experiences. Trauma treatment can help individuals process their experiences and manage their symptoms.
Why do we need to heal trauma?
1. We need to heal because trauma can have long-lasting and damaging effects on a person's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Trauma can affect a person's ability to function daily, maintain relationships, and achieve goals.
2. Trauma can also affect a person's brain and body, leading to changes in brain chemistry, nervous system function, and other physical and mental health conditions. Trauma can manifest in various ways, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and other forms of addiction.
3. Healing trauma involves addressing the root causes of the trauma, understanding how it has affected the individual and developing coping mechanisms to manage the symptoms and long-term effects. Healing may involve therapy, support groups, mindfulness practices, and other forms of treatment. Ultimately, healing trauma can help individuals regain a sense of safety, control, and empowerment and improve their overall quality of life.
4. Trauma can have a profound impact on human beings, both physically and mentally. Traumatic events are perceived as dangerous or life-threatening. They can include experiences such as assault, combat, natural disasters, accidents, or the sudden death of a loved one.
Healing from trauma can make a person stronger in several ways:
1. Increased Resilience: Going through trauma can be a challenging experience, and healing from it can require significant time and effort. However, those who overcome their trauma often emerge with a newfound sense of resilience. They have demonstrated that they can face and overcome significant challenges, which can give them the strength to face future difficulties.
2. Improved Coping Skills: Trauma can leave a person feeling overwhelmed and powerless, and knowing how to cope with those emotions can be challenging. However, through healing, a person can learn new coping skills to apply to other difficult situations. For example, they may learn to practice mindfulness, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques to manage their stress levels.
3. Greater Self-Awareness: Healing from trauma often requires confronting the deepest fears and emotions. This can be an arduous process but can also lead to greater self-awareness. Through healing treatment, people may better understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This self-awareness can help them make better decisions and build more fulfilling relationships in the future.
4. Increased Empathy: Going through trauma can give a person a unique perspective on the suffering of others. Through the process of healing, they may develop greater empathy and compassion for those who are struggling. This can make them more supportive and caring person.
5. Greater Sense of Purpose: Trauma can be an incredibly isolating experience, leaving a person feeling disconnected from others and unsure of their place in the world. However, a person may develop a greater sense of purpose through healing. For example, they may advocate for other survivors or become involved in a community organization that supports others who have gone through similar experiences. This sense of purpose can give them a greater understanding of fulfillment and motivation.