What is Trauma?
Trauma is the response resulting from an experience of excessive stress that overwhelms your emotional or physical ability to cope. Examples of trauma-causing events include war, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, rape, and physical abuse. Traumatic experiences can produce long- or short-term emotional, mental, and physical repercussions, such as anxiety, depression, overwhelming and unreasonable fear, chronic pain, concentration or memory problems, and withdrawal or isolation. They can sometimes result in disabling, recurring panic attacks which leave individuals afraid to leave their homes. Traumatized people may experience distressing flashbacks of the event, nightmares, amnesia, and intense feelings of guilt. Physically, many people develop eating and sleeping problems, leading to exhaustion and malnutrition or spending too much time in bed and overeating.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
In extreme cases, an individual may develop what is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. This is often the case when people are exposed to long-term or more severe traumas, such as war or prolonged abuse. The primary indicators of PTSD are 1) re-experiencing of the event, through flashbacks, nightmares and distressing memories, 2) avoidance, through numbing the emotions and feeling detached from others, and 3) hypervigilance and a chronic state of anxious arousal. They may feel irritable and have outbursts of anger and may stop participating in activities and relationships that used to bring them happiness before the event. These are natural reactions to the extreme stress they have endured, and continue to endure, and can make life very difficult for the individual and those who love them.
If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic event, you may recognize some of these symptoms in yourself or your friend/loved one. Take heart, because there is help and there is hope. PTSD is often a chronic condition, but it does not have to be a permanent life sentence. With courage and perseverance, you can overcome your body’s safety mechanisms and protective behaviours and break free of the debilitating cycle of fear, avoidance, pain, and confusion.
At McDowall Integrative Psychology & Healthcare, our skilled and empathetic therapists and psychologists are here to provide traumatized individuals with the compassionate, respectful and non-judgmental support they need. We will listen and validate your experiences and your concerns, and we will work with you to help you achieve lasting change and find the love, trust and strength you may have lost.
How McDowall Integrative Psychology & Healthcare can help you.
At McDowall Integrative Psychology & Healthcare, we take pride in providing our clients with a warm, confidential and safe environment so you will feel open to discuss whatever is on your mind. Making you feel comfortable each and every time you visit is very important to us.
Some stress at work is normal, but if you find yourself under a lot of pressure and this negatively affects other areas of your life such as your social, personal, and physical domains, then you might benefit from our counselling services.
We provide a confidential, compassionate, and non-judgmental environment where you can speak to one of our therapists about the issues you are experiencing. We will help you implement some coping strategies or improve your existing ones in order to improve your well-being, not simply during your work day but throughout the long-term. We look forward to working with you through the pressures you are facing and help strengthen your resilience to external and internal contributors of stress.
McDowall Integrative Psychology & Healthcare | (416) 485-5555 ext. 1 or fill out our confidential web form