Traumatic experiences can be defined as any incident that deeply threatens our physical self or the integrity of our being. Trauma happens when we are threatened or hurt in an unexpected way or situation, and we are powerless to stop it.
Examples of traumatic events:
- natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, etc
- physical assault, including rape, incest, molestation, domestic violence
- serious bodily harm
- serious accidents, such as car accidents or other high-risk situations
- experiencing or witnessing horrific injury, carnage or death
- falls or sports injuries
- serious illnesses
- death of a loved one, especially a suicide
- negative childhood events: forced separation from a primary caregiver, death of a caregiver, emotional abuse or neglect, and bullying
These types of experiences, especially if we feel powerless to change them, will have a lasting impact on our brain development, physical health, and psychological well-being. Some of the day to day symptoms can include: flashbacks to the incident, feeling constantly “on edge,” doubting ourselves and others, avoiding things or places that remind us of what happened, being easily startled, avoiding talking or thinking about it, feeling emotionally numb, trouble concentrating, irritability, overwhelming guilt or shame, or feeling hopeless about the future.
Often people around us encourage us to “move on” and “be okay” because it’s hard for them to see us suffer. Or sometimes we feel so much shame about what happened, we don’t tell anyone about it or we may even have trouble admitting it to ourselves. Neither approach is a good solution for our long-term health.
Our therapist Allen Rader is an expert in assisting you with moving through and past your traumatic memories. By processing the memories that haunt us, we can release the grip they have on our lives. Give us a call at 317-820-3600.