Many individuals experience trauma at some point in their lives. Sometimes trauma can follow you from your childhood into adulthood. Other times it can be birthed by situations that we encounter as adults. Any encounter with trauma should be addressed to prevent ongoing negative effects that can alter one’s ability to cope with the uncertainties of life moving forward.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is caused by the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event. PTSD in adults has a large range of symptoms and effects. There was a time when you might hear more of veterans who experience PTSD than it was associated with any other demographic. However, anyone can experience PTSD. Many people suffer from PTSD unknowingly. Regardless of the origin of the trauma in your life, there are ways to face those wounds and move forward.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is an emotional response or reaction to a dangerous, terrifying, or violent event. Some of these traumatic events can be a car accident, sexual assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. No matter what an event entails, it is the “fight-or-flight” response that it birthed that causes it to be traumatic.
Trauma is not subject to any one gender, race, or career field. Veterans, new moms, children, and anyone else can experience trauma. Understanding trauma for what it is enhances one’s ability to see it when it takes place and take action.
How to Move Forward in Life After Trauma and PTSD
Trauma is very common. Some experience it and are able to navigate their feelings surrounding it in a positive manner. Others may notice their struggle to cope with their feelings derived from those traumatic events, while some may not. Maybe those who notice decide to seek help. However, that is not always the case, as even when noticed it can be overlooked.
You can find yourself being affected by past traumas as they continue to influence you later in life. These findings are the long-term effects of traumatic experiences in your life that are now presented as PTSD. Carrying the weight of your trauma is not your responsibility. Working through it means to eliminate the weight it can attach to your life.
To move forward and overcome the mind-crippling tortures of PTSD and trauma, you must first recognize its presence in your life. There are signs and symptoms that can help you to determine that trauma has lingered from its origin and initial moment of impact and gown. In recognizing the signs, you can then seek help from a doctor, seek support from family, and learn about options for treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder shows up in various ways. It can change the lens through which you view life and especially yourself. A confident individual can go from looking forward to each new day to having a completely negative perception of themselves and the world. That is how powerful untreated trauma can be.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of PTSD can be life-changing. Trauma changes you, and if PTSD creeps in, it has likely changed you a lot. However, knowing what it looks like means that you can address it head-on. You do not have to spend months or years wondering why you feel the way you do. Some may not know the signs, and their trauma develops into PTSD and continues to go untreated.
Signs of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks or reliving the trauma repeatedly, which can evoke physical symptoms and reactions to an event
- Avoidance of places, events, or even thoughts and emotions related to a traumatic event
- Reactivity and an imbalance of emotions cause anxiety, insomnia, and being tense
While these are just a few signs and symptoms of PTSD, they cover a multitude of areas and ways in which it can be seen. PTSD in adults can surface in a number of ways. The key to knowing what you are suffering from is to be open and pay attention to what you see in yourself that you maybe did not see prior to a traumatic event.
Being open and recognizing negative patterns in your behavior can lead you to get a medical assessment. This is how you can get an actual diagnosis and begin looking into a plan for treatment.
The Path to Healing: How SoCal Mental Health Can Help
Treatment for PTSD can help you navigate the wounds of your past and get back to being a healthier version of yourself. There are therapy programs and psychotherapies used to help individuals with PTSD. Here at SoCal Mental Health, we offer a variety of theories that can cater to your specific mental health condition.
Talk therapy or psychotherapy is a platform where you can speak with a therapist alone, with family, or in a group setting. It provides you the safe space to speak on what you feel, examine where those feelings came from, and heal. Our trauma-informed therapy specializes in the care of individuals suffering from PTSD. The focus of this form of therapy is to ensure that those suffering from trauma and PTSD do not become retraumatized in the treatment process.
If you or someone you know has experienced traumatic events and the side effects have yet to subside, there is help available. Trauma that is left untreated can develop and grow into post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD in adults is common due to many being unaware of their trauma-related thoughts, feelings, and responses. Gaining knowledge of the signs associated with trauma and PTSD can save your life. So do not be discouraged by those feelings and fears that you simply cannot control. At SoCal Mental Health, we offer many forms of therapy and treatment. We can help you with a treatment plan and heal from your trauma. For more information, call us at (888) 312-0219.