Most of us recognize trauma: those shocking and startling events that leave a lasting effect. Perhaps childhood trauma, like sexual, physical, mental or emotional abuse certainly come to mind. Or sexual assault. And the effects of combat on soldiers or veterans. This doesn’t even include motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, and the complicated grief over an unexpected death. But the reality is anything that your brain does not have an adequate frame of reference to make sense of or an event that overwhelms your body’s natural defenses can be traumatic.
While therapy cannot change whatever traumatic event or loss that happened, it can help you and other family members to better manage and be aware of the effects of trauma and grief, as well as issues that arise in their wake.
The Effects of Unresolved Trauma and Grief
Unprocessed trauma and loss have a way of paralyzing an individual and affecting not only emotions, but also mind, body, and spirit. Images, beliefs, emotions and body sensations that were once experienced during a disturbing event can become frozen within an individual.
These frozen sensory memories associated with the trauma or loss can disrupt the quality of one’s life in the form of intrusive thoughts, emotional distress, flashbacks and intense physiological responses. These are common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Feelings of shame, self-blame, distrust, grief, and being all alone are also common.
Unresolved trauma and loss, whether from childhood or in adulthood, is a disorder of incompletion, where an individual’s body and emotions respond as if the event is taking place currently. Therefore, regulation and calming of the individual’s mind, body, and spirit need to occur.
Complications And Symptoms
The pain and discomfort of unresolved trauma, abuse and loss can be intense. In an attempt to find relief, individuals can often find themselves engaged in self-destructive behavior as a way to cope. Complications and symptoms may include any or all of the following:
- Anxiety and Fear
- Social Isolation and Phobias
- Relationship Struggles
- Anger outbursts
- Eating Disorders
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Sexual Compulsivity
- Spiritual numbness
- Faith Concerns
- Chronic Pain
- Muscle Tenseness
- Sleep Disturbances
Treating PTSD, Trauma, Grief and Loss
To learn more about effective treatment for PTSD, trauma, grief and loss click here.