Therapy is one way, but not the only way to heal from trauma as there are a variety of ways to heal such as: relationships and connection, re-connecting to our culture and ancestral customs, having a practice such as yoga and/or meditation, expression such as art, dance, and writing, and more.
Recovering from trauma takes time, and everyone heals at their own pace. But if months have passed and your symptoms aren't letting up, you may need professional help from a trauma expert. Seek help for trauma if you're: Having trouble functioning at home or work.
Treating trauma without talking about what happened
Without discussing specifics about what happened, people are able to uncover the underlying feelings that are holding them back. With their new found awareness, their load becomes lighter and their path more clear.
There are degrees of trauma. It can be emotional, mental, physical or sexual. It can occur once, or repeatedly. However, it is possible to fully recover from any traumatic experience or event; it may take a long time, but in the end, living free from the symptoms of trauma is worth every step of the journey.
Cognitive Signs of Unhealed Trauma
You may experience nightmares or flashbacks that take you back to the traumatic event. Furthermore, you may struggle with mood swings, as well as disorientation and confusion, which can make it challenging to perform daily tasks.
There are absolutely health impacts from unresolved trauma. Unresolved trauma puts people at increased risk for mental health diagnoses, which run the gamut of anxiety, depression and PTSD. There are physical manifestations as well, such as cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, stroke or heart attacks.
There is no specific time frame for recovery from unresolved trauma. However, the good news is that healing from trauma is not an endpoint; survivors are capable of far more than merely healing. They can look back on their traumatic experience and learn that they are stronger than they ever imagined.
Ever since people's responses to overwhelming experiences have been systematically explored, researchers have noted that a trauma is stored in somatic memory and expressed as changes in the biological stress response.
People affected by trauma tend to feel unsafe in their bodies and in their relationships with others. Regaining a sense of safety may take days to weeks with acutely traumatized individuals or months to years with individuals who have experienced ongoing/chronic abuse.
Not everyone who has experienced a traumatic event needs therapy, according to Dr. Galovski, but she says that for some people, a traumatic event can be life-altering. “Some people may go on to experience depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD),” she says.
People who have unprocessed trauma often report having commonly known symptoms, such as intrusive thoughts of the event(s), mood swings, loss of memory and more. However, some people may be struggling with unresolved trauma without even realizing it.
Emotional trauma is recognizable by a persistent sense of unsafety and other challenging emotions such as fear and/or anxiety. It is often accompanied by other physical symptoms as well, such as chronic insomnia, nightmares, and other health issues.
Trauma is difficult to heal from. It's meant to be. Trauma is the way that our brains and bodies adapt to an experience or environment of life-threatening powerlessness: to situations of overwhelm that are extremely dangerous to our survival. If our brains and bodies don't take that seriously, we won't stay alive.
van der Kolk writes that there are three avenues for recovery: “top down, by talking, (re-) connecting with others, and allowing ourselves to know and understand what is going on with us”; “taking medicines that shut down inappropriate alarm reactions"; and “bottom up, by allowing the body to have experiences that ...
When you experience a traumatic event, it's common to have an emotional reaction. Such stress reactions are normal and not weakness. Most people recover in time.
Tears can help people heal from hurtful psychological experiences in life, just as there are natural body processes that promote physical healing.
Smiling when discussing trauma is a way to minimize the traumatic experience. It communicates the notion that what happened “wasn't so bad.” This is a common strategy that trauma survivors use in an attempt to maintain a connection to caretakers who were their perpetrators.
Spleen is the most common cause of massive bleeding in blunt abdominal trauma to a solid organ. Spleen is the most commonly injured organ.
Massage therapy, the manual manipulation of soft body tissue to promote health and well-being, can provide relief from physical, emotional, and mental stress, and decrease levels of depression, anxiety, irritability, and other symptoms associated with trauma exposure (Collinge, Kahn, & Soltysik, 2012).