Trauma interrupting your life is frustrating at best. At worst, it can be debilitating, immobilizing, or devastating.
However, trauma doesn’t have to hold you in its grip forever.
Unfortunately, though, you can’t just ignore it and hope that it will go away. People can go a long time without addressing their trauma, but eventually, it comes back and rears its ugly head.
There is a saying that “the only way out is through,” and it pertains particularly well to trauma.
You have to do the work to get to the other side. Once you do, though, the rewards are well worth the effort. You may even find that dealing with the trauma interrupting your life actually leads you to discover new strengths, successes, and joys.
Of course, you don’t want to go it alone. Therapy can support your forward movement and help you get to the other side.
Signs of Trauma Interrupting Your Life
Trauma comes in many forms. It may be the result of a single catastrophic event. For example, seeing a loved one die in a car accident is traumatic. On the other hand, trauma can be a series of events. Witnessing or experiencing repeated physical abuse throughout childhood is one common example of repetitive trauma.
Many people know the source of their trauma. However, some people aren’t sure, or their memories are vague. Either way, you may notice signs of trauma interrupting your life.
Common signs include:
- Anger, irritability, and/or mood swings
- Anxiety, worry, phobias, and/or fear
- Confusion, trouble concentrating, and/or difficulty focusing
- Experiencing flashbacks and/or nightmares
- Feeling numb, disconnected, and/or withdrawing from others
- Physical symptoms including aches, muscle tension, racing heart, and chest tightness
- Startling easily, particularly in situations or places associated with the trauma
- Substance use as a form of self-medication
- Trouble with sleeping too much or not enough
In other words, you might experience many of the same symptoms as those suffering from depression and/or anxiety. Specifically, you might notice that these symptoms flare up around certain situations, people, places, or anniversary dates.
Trauma Therapy Takes Things Slowly
With trauma interrupting your life, you may realize that therapy could help. However, you may also hesitate to start therapy because the last thing that you want to do is to talk about your trauma.
Don’t fear. A trained trauma therapist will help you develop the resources necessary to move through your trauma without re-triggering it.
The first step in trauma therapy is to help you build up your own internal resources. You might also get help developing your support system through reconnecting to loved ones and/or connecting with support groups.
As you strengthen your internal and external resources, you can increase the understanding that therapy is a safe space. Through this work, you will eventually get to the point that you are able to face the trauma and work through it.
How Can Trauma Therapy Helps You Move Forward?
Trauma keeps you stuck in the past. As you work through, understand, and integrate the experience of trauma, you release yourself from the past.
Therapy helps you get to a point where you can acknowledge the trauma, but it no longer has a grip on you. There are many different techniques and approaches in trauma therapy. You won’t just have to sit there and talk about the past. Instead, you will learn many different ways of moving forward.
You may enter therapy frustrated with the fact that trauma is interrupting your life. However, as you work through it, you may learn to see some blessings in the experience.
Every challenge in life makes us stronger. Although it is never fair for anyone to have to endure trauma, some people can use therapy to make the best of the situation. In fact, you may find that therapy helps you develop your strengths, set and meet new goals, and move forward in ways you previously thought were impossible.
If a trauma you suffered is keeping you stuck in the past and interfering with your life, please learn more about trauma treatment here.