Trauma & Stress Management
Going through a traumatic event can be distressing for anyone. It might be an experience like a road traffic accident, it could be a natural disaster like a bushfire or flood, or you may have experienced significant loss, violence, assault or abuse, or even a war or torture. You may have experienced this event directly, or be strongly affected by seeing it happening to someone else. Whatever the traumatic experience, it can seem like you’ll never get over what happened.
If you have an existing mental illness, then the traumatic event may be even more distressing, and may trigger or worsen the symptoms of your condition.
As with anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience, you are likely to feel strong emotions. Fear, anxiety and emotional numbness are normal ways of reacting in this situation. It is also common to experience difficulty sleeping, to have nightmares, muscle tension, and to feel agitated or withdrawn. You may be in a state of constant alert for more danger. People often describe their sense of safety and security as being severely shaken.
A stressful event is more likely to be traumatic if:
- It happened unexpectedly
- You felt powerless to prevent it
- The event happened repeatedly
- Someone was intentionally cruel
- It happened in childhood
When a traumatic event happens after other upsetting events (such as the death of a family member or friend, for example), or when there are already high stress levels, it is likely to be especially distressing. These feelings can lead to avoiding reminders of the event, and to having difficulty with everyday routines and maintaining relationships.
Psychological therapy can help people manage their feelings related to traumatic events and can help people learn to manage their responses unavoidable situations in the future.
If you would like to speak to someone or organise an appointment with one of our experienced psychologists, please contact us today.