Trauma is one of the leading causes of mental health issues in the world, but trauma is a broad term, trauma can be many things, caused by many things in many situations.
The impact trauma has on our mental health is known as a trauma response, and this can be a very broad variety of responses, depending on the traumatic event itself.
It is beneficial for those who have witnessed or experienced the trauma of some form to seek out help, including therapy from places such as AspenRidge Recovery Centers. This is because trauma can manifest in many ways and affect the people around us.
Traumatic events can be anything, so before we explain what trauma can do to your mental health, first we will explain to you what a traumatic event can be.
What Counts As A Traumatic Event?
Traumatic events can be anything. Of course, a traumatic event can be the obvious, events such as car crashes, natural disasters, war, violence, serious illness, and loss of a loved one.
However, we often forget that trauma can happen in other ways as well, this includes prolonged abuse, sexual assault, home invasions, neglect, and so on.
In fact, a lot of people alive today who have got mental health problems from trauma, have trauma that is unresolved and happened back in their childhood. This trauma then manifests in other ways, often viewed as toxic habits, or prolonged trauma responses.
It is important that we note that traumatic events do not only affect your mental health, even if the trauma is psychological such as neglect or mental abuse. Experiencing trauma can have a physical effect on the body.
Even in these situations it can raise your blood pressure, heart rate, rate of sweating, and cause digestive issues.
For men and women who have been sexually assaulted, they may even have psychologically recovered from the trauma but muscle memory can cause issues in sexual health and bodily function.
This can go on for years until the trauma is addressed for some people. Luckily some traumas are easily recovered from, but others are not.
In many ways, psychologically traumatic events are actually more likely to do long-term damage to our mental health than physically traumatic events. It is important to seek help.
What Can Happen To Your Mental Health?
So, what can you expect to happen to your mental health if you have experienced a traumatic event?
There are a few things. We have listed some of the physical things you may notice, but there are some mental health conditions that directly relate to trauma.
Anxiety is very common in people with trauma, ranging from those who have had wartime experiences or lived through a Tsunami.
Anxiety happens from trauma due to unpredictability. This is very common in people who have PTSD from the trauma, or those whose trauma is psychologically related. It can manifest in many ways.
It can show up as generalized chronic worrying all the way to panic attacks.
These people may also be avoidant of social situations which may relate to traumatic events, this can even manifest as social anxiety, which can in some cases be severe.
Depression is also common in people who have suffered a traumatic event. Although this does depend on the trauma.
Neglect and prolonged abuse can affect our sense of self and ability to self-love, this makes us feel worthless and starts to affect our self-perception which can result in depression.
Typically, in these scenarios anxiety and depression appear together.
PTSD and c-PTSD are similar but different. PTSD will usually happen from a short-term traumatic event, usually such as a car crash, war, natural disaster, and so on.
c-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) is often the result of prolonged abuse, usually mental, although sometimes a mix of physical and mental.
Both of these conditions manifest as anxiety, depression, disassociation, and flashbacks (physical or emotional). It can lead to intense fear, panic attacks, social isolation, and a low sense of self-worth.
Both of these can be treated with therapy, although c-PTSD is much harder to treat.
Finally, we want to talk about the stress response.
Stress responses happen in traumatic experiences, it is just how our bodies are wired. We will instinctively go into survival mode, regardless of the type of trauma. This means we typically go into a fight, flight, or freeze response.
This can lead to physical effects on our bodies as well as inducing anger, aggression, addictive behaviors, obesity, and high blood pressure.
If you have suffered a traumatic event, seek help. You are not alone.