Traumatic events shake the foundations of our beliefs about safety, and undermine our ability to trust. Experiences that are outside of our usual expectations can provoke psychological and physical reactions that can lead us to feel like we are going crazy. Firstly, the most helpful thing is to recognise that these reactions, though unusual and disturbing are in many ways typical and to be expected. These are normal reactions to abnormal events.
Trauma symptoms are varied ranging from acute stress reactions, fear and hyper vigilance to intrusive thoughts, images and sensations. In the longer term people may experience relationship difficulties, substance abuse and depression. Not everyone that experiences a traumatic event will develop difficulties and troubling reactions often resolve in a matter of days or weeks, depending of course on the individual circumstances and events. Recovery from a traumatic experience may be as simple as seeking basic emotional and practical support from family and friends in the days after the event.
One of the more problematic responses to trauma is avoidance which may develop as a coping mechanism especially where symptoms continue for several months or longer. This tendency can make it less likely that the person will seek professional treatment which can delay recovery. Generally if symptoms are intense or persist beyond a few weeks then psychological assistance is indicated.
For further information or to make an appointment (02) 4234 3486 or mob 0411 227779 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Trauma see Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health