Freedom from trauma
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Muneeza Khimji
24th July, 20170 Comments
Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event in our lives. We all have experienced trauma in different ways. In many situations, we process the trauma and are able to move on. However, in some cases, we are not able to process it.
There are three potential responses to a traumatic event. These are fight, flight or freeze. When we fight back or flee the situation, we are more often than not able to process the trauma as we have taken a form of action to stop or separate from the distressing event. When we freeze, however, we feel stuck and are unable to deal with the events and this moment of freezing stays stuck in our mind.
Shock, anger, denial, and anxiety are a few of the symptoms of trauma. Over a short period of time if the symptoms fade the trauma is being reprocessed by the brain. When the symptoms remain for a longer period it is a sign that the brain has not reprocessed the trauma and can be signs of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are several different types of therapy to help deal with and process trauma.
Whilst there are the stereotypes of what constitutes a traumatic event, such as death, terrorist attack, serious accidents and war to name a few, it is important to know that how each person responds to the event is very personal. Trauma does not necessarily have to be a “big” event, but an event that makes you feel like you are no longer safe in the world.
Adolescents also suffer from trauma when there is bullying in school and these events can force a child to stop going to school.
In addition, the symptoms of trauma can have a very stressful effect on the relationships in your life and your work. It changes the way in which you see and navigate the world and as a result your environment becomes a threat in and of itself.
It is important to note that any therapy model cannot change the existence of the distressing event and the fact that it happened. What is does is give you the ability to reprocess and feel as though you are not operating from a point of distress all the times and that your environment does not remain a scary place to be.
Regardless of the type of trauma you have experienced it is important to seek treatment as the symptoms can worsen over time and become debilitating. No one has to live with trauma. Finding freedom from it can give you a new lease on life.
About the author
I have been a therapist for 18 years and have experience helping people suffering from depression, anxiety, stress and trauma among other areas. I am in private practice and am based in two locations. I am passionate about healing and am honoured when I am chosen to be on a journey with someone.
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