Unfortunately, trauma is highly common in the world today. According to WebMD, “More than half of Americans will go through a traumatic event at least once in their lives.” But what does this trauma do to us? How does it affect the rest of our lives? What sort of impact does it have?
In this article, we’re going to explore the emotional impact of trauma on a person.
- What constitutes a traumatic event
- Common signs of trauma
- The emotional impact of trauma
- What to do
What is trauma?
Trauma can be both physical and emotional. It is an emotional response to an unexpected, horrific event. People can experience trauma in varying degrees and in many different ways.
Common Traumatic Events
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Car accidents
- Mechanical accidents
Pretty much anything that could cause harm to come to you has the potential to trigger a traumatic response.
Common Ways to Experience Trauma
- PTSD – can also be experienced in different ways and different levels of severity (rare)
Common signs of trauma
Everyone reacts to trauma differently. The two most common emotional responses to trauma are experiencing extremely strong emotions or experiencing the sensation of having little to no emotions.
Trauma can cause a person to lash out, be overly emotional, etc., but it can also cause a person to feel numb, like a shell of their former selves.
The one consistent thing that occurs across the board with trauma is unexpected behavior. Whether you experience fits of anger, surges of emotions, or total numbness with trauma, you won’t be behaving like your usual self.
Common things experienced with trauma
- Trouble connecting with others
- Trouble empathizing with or relating to others
- Headaches, nausea, chest tightness, and other physical symptoms
- Sensitivity to loud noises, strong smells, or other strong senses
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Appetite changes
What to do if you experience a traumatic event
If you’ve experienced a traumatic event and are experiencing the emotional and/or physical effects of it, the very first step is to admit the trauma happened and accept that you are being affected by it emotionally and/or physically.
The next step is to seek out help. Many people have issues with this step and will skip it. While it is still possible to get over your trauma without the help of a professional (doctor, therapist, nurse, etc.), it’s much more difficult and could take longer.
Focus on keeping yourself calm and removing stressors. Exercising, socializing, doing yoga, and meditating can all help you to ease your stress and calm yourself. Many people often turn to their religious community in these times of hardships.
Keeping up healthy routines can also help you to bounce back after trauma. The regularity can be comforting and help to re-establish normalcy in your life, emotions, and brain.
The most important thing to remember is that it will take time. Trauma is a hard thing to move past and get over, but it does happen over time. Don’t expect yourself to be magically back to normal in the blink of an eye.
You also want to be sure to know your limitations. If you need help, ask for it. Join a support group or find a therapist accepting new clients, you could even talk to a leader or counselor in your church. If you need help, don’t let it get worse because you were afraid to ask for it.
Trauma can affect us in a lot of ways. It can have major impacts on our emotional, physical, and mental health. You can do something about it, though, if you work at it and ask for the help you need.