Emotional trauma results from threatening events or situations, such as the death of a loved one, abuse, neglect, or betrayal. It can also include the experience of feeling powerless and helpless. Emotional trauma can often develop into depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. People with PTSD often feel afraid or angry after an event that causes them to feel threatened.2
Psychological trauma occurs when someone experiences an event that is so upsetting that it changes how they feel about themselves or their life. This can be as simple as being bullied at school or as traumatic as surviving sexual assault. Psychological trauma can also come from experiencing prolonged exposure to certain types of abuse, such as domestic violence.
Childhood trauma is a term used to describe any event occurring during childhood that leaves an individual feeling unsafe or vulnerable. Traumatic events can happen to anyone and aren’t always connected to abuse. Child trauma is rampant, with over 30% of children reporting at least one traumatic event by age 16.3
It’s essential to understand that trauma can affect people in different ways. It can be physical, mental, or emotional. People who have experienced a traumatic event may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms.
Shock is a common and immediate symptom of emotional trauma. Individuals may experience shock when they’re suddenly exposed to violence, abuse, or loss. They may also be shocked by a sudden change in their lives while healing from betrayal trauma.
People who have gone through emotional trauma often become irritable or short-tempered because they don’t know how to overcome the trauma. This is seen in individuals healing from childhood trauma.
Sadness is characterized by mood lows. Victims of emotional trauma may experience sadness when they realize that something has gone wrong in their lives. These feelings of sadness may also occur due to lost control of events and a lack of understanding. Overcoming sadness is vital for people healing from sexual trauma.
Emotional trauma can result in mood swings which are mood alterations ranging from happiness to sadness and, at times, aggression. These feelings can make it difficult to cope with daily activities and lead to losing motivation or interest in life.
Psychological trauma can lead to severe illnesses like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Studies show that people with prolonged psychological trauma are more likely to develop PTSD, even if they don’t develop a physical illness. In turn, during emotional trauma-mediated breakdowns, individuals may often get sick.5
Psychological trauma can cause a person to be more vulnerable when it comes to relationships. This can lead to a decrease in trust and an inability to form new relationships, which may cause feelings of isolation or depression. This feeling may end up putting strains on friendships and romantic relationships. This is seen in people healing from sexual trauma due to trust issues.
Psychological trauma can also lead to confusion and forgetfulness in the event’s aftermath, which may interfere with a person’s ability to function normally in everyday life.
A person going through psychological trauma may temporarily lose the ability to concentrate effectively. This could result in a lack of focus, forgetfulness, and difficulty making decisions, eventually leading to varying levels of mental fatigue, especially in people healing from childhood trauma.
Effectively healing from trauma is a gradual process that has to be taken step by step. Depending on the event and the person involved, healing from trauma may take quite some time to get over or no little time at all. Below are some excellent ways to heal from trauma or grief.
The first step in healing from trauma is acceptance and mentally preparing to heal. Individuals must be willing to take responsibility for their feelings, thoughts, and actions. Also, taking time to understand what happened and why it did.
Individuals should try to reach out to family and loved ones and honestly share the event’s effects. Going through emotional trauma is more challenging when people isolate themselves. Being with others makes it easier to feel connected and open up about experiences with trauma, which helps with the healing process.
When healing from past trauma, it can be tempting to try and push it away or feel better by focusing on something else. However, it’s always better to accept and work through each negative feeling without judgment or blame to naturally get over it.
Many people use recreational substances such as alcohol or drugs to cope with trauma-related stressors. Unfortunately, while these substances may temporarily distract them from their problems, they only worsen things in the long run. This is due to the increased risk of addiction and adverse health consequences such as liver damage or death by overdose.
One good way to boost self-healing from trauma is to focus on what’s happening right now in life without dwelling on the negatives. Individuals should do this without worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while aiding healing from trauma in people who have experienced a traumatic event. Mindfulness involves focusing on breathing and observing thoughts as they come and go. Individuals can accomplish this through guided meditation or an app that provides daily lessons and guides through different types of meditation.
When healing after trauma, a support group can be one of the best ways to connect with others experiencing trauma, whether from a similar event or their own past experiences and current life situations. Support groups allow people dealing with emotional trauma to share their stories and experiences in a safe environment where they can receive emotional support from others who understand what they’re going through.
After being emotionally traumatized, one of the easiest ways to heal from trauma is with the help of a therapist or a trained counselor. Trained professionals can help point out issues that may have gone unnoticed and offer suitable healthy coping mechanisms to help heal faster and better.
While healing from emotional trauma, there are certain stages every person has to go through to address issues adequately and healthily get over them. These include:
It’s possible to heal fully from trauma and live a purposeful and fulfilling life. Recovery isn’t essentially the complete absence of thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event. Instead, it’s the ability to put the traumatic incident in the proper perspective and successfully move past it so that it no longer controls the individual’s emotions or life.
Healing from trauma is a multi-layered process that differs from person to person. It can take a few days to weeks, months, or even years to fully heal from trauma. The timeline for full recovery will depend on some factors, including:
There’s always hope if you’ve experienced trauma and are struggling to recover. At Iris Healing, we understand that emotional trauma can be challenging, especially for people healing from childhood trauma, and we’re here to help. We have a team of licensed and experienced healthcare practitioners who deliver counseling, support, and treatment for emotional trauma using age-long proven techniques.
We want to help you recover from trauma to move forward with confidence and trust in yourself. For more information about healing from emotional trauma, please contact us at Iris Healing today.