The Aftereffects of Emotional Trauma & When to Consider Getting Treatment Help
The aftereffects of emotional trauma can take any number of forms, affecting different people in different ways. Anyone who’s gone through a traumatic event or period well knows how jarring it can be emotionally and even physically. While it may seem like a person has recovered, signs of emotional trauma may still be apparent in his or her day-to-day lifestyle.
According to the Journal of World Psychiatry, many people who have seemingly coped with a traumatic experience end up showing signs of emotional trauma at a later date. For these reasons, understanding how emotional trauma can persist and take shape within a person’s everyday life can go a long way towards taking the steps to get needed treatment help.
Causes of Emotional Trauma
Causes of emotional trauma can vary from person to person and circumstance to circumstance. What may be experienced as distressing for one person may well be manageable for another.
Traumatic experiences can take the form of:
- One-time events, such as a car accident, being attacked or an act of terrorism
- Ongoing circumstances, such as living with a serious health problem or living in a dangerous neighborhood
- The death of loved one
- Divorce or relationship breakup
- Being humiliated
- Big disappointments
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, the circumstances don’t determine a person’s ability to cope so much as his or her emotional reaction or interpretation of the experience. Ultimately, the greater the degree of fear and helplessness experienced the more traumatizing the event.
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The Effects of Unresolved Emotional Trauma
Much like conditions involving prolonged stress, unresolved emotional trauma takes a toll on a person’s physical and psychological well-being. The physical systems that go into play when faced with a perceived threat or stressor can stay in overdrive when emotional trauma remains unresolved.
Under these conditions, a person may experience any number of symptoms in his or her day-to-day life, leaving him or her feeling emotionally and physically exhausted on a continuous basis for no apparent reason.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Symptoms of emotional trauma can linger long after the actual event occurred. Oftentimes, a person may not be able to associate symptoms experienced with a past trauma. Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Problems sleeping
- Periods of overeating or undereating
- Chronic fatigue
- Bouts of anxiety
- Crying episodes
- Sexual dysfunction
- Feeling emotional numb or disconnected
- Isolative behaviors
- Muddled thinking, trouble concentrating
While a person may still be able to function in daily life in spite of these apparent symptoms, over time symptoms can actually become more severe. Also, unresolved emotional trauma only makes a person more sensitive to stress in general and likely super-sensitive to stressors that relate to the traumatic event in some way.
The sooner a person gets needed treatment help, the easier it is to work through past emotional issues and resume a healthy, happy lifestyle.
If you or someone you know struggles with the effects of emotional trauma and need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of our phone counselors.
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