Other Traumas

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Violent or abusive experiences can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope and cause trauma. Unresolved trauma can be forgotten over time, but can still cause mysterious emotional and behavioral symptoms. Those with conditions such as drug or alcohol use disorder may find that treatment has not worked for them in the past. Identifying unresolved trauma and treating it along with the co-occurring conditions can help promote healing and foster lasting recovery.

There are many different kinds of events that can lead to trauma and affect the mental and physical health of survivors, their families and their communities. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration cites some of the most common forms of trauma:

  • Sexual abuse or assault
  • Physical abuse or assault
  • Emotional abuse or psychological maltreatment
  • Neglect
  • Serious accident, illness or medical procedure
  • Victim or witness to domestic violence
  • Victim or witness to community violence
  • Historical trauma
  • School violence
  • Bullying
  • Natural or manmade disasters
  • Forced displacement
  • War, terrorism or political violence
  • Military trauma
  • Victim or witness to extreme personal or interpersonal violence
  • Traumatic grief or separation
  • System-induced trauma and re-traumatization

Not all forms of trauma are as overt or obvious as the ones above. For example, even a brief nonverbal communication between two people can be traumatic, depending on the meaning that communication held for that person. Subtle trauma is more likely to go unrecognized, so those who have experienced such trauma may not receive the support and understanding they need to process what happened to them.

The Effects Of Trauma On Women

Common symptoms after trauma include sleep problems, nightmares, exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, avoidance of trauma reminders, and other symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, post-traumatic stress may occur in conjunction with psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorders. Women also experience physical symptoms, too, such as gastrointestinal problems, headaches and sexual dysfunction.

Women are twice as likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than men and to experience a longer duration of symptoms, particularly hypersensitivity to stimuli that remind them of the event. Yet women often delay seeking treatment or never receive it at all.

Trauma-informed care can help to identify unresolved trauma in all of its forms, based on the impact it has on the physical and psychosocial functioning of the survivor. In addition to trauma-informed care, some treatment centers have specialized trauma programs, in which a team of trauma experts help patients work through their trauma and underlying or co-occurring conditions using evidenced-based treatment modalities.

Treatment For Trauma

New treatments are available for trauma survivors and their families, many of which have been shown to significantly improve symptoms of trauma in clinical studies. Individual, group and family psychotherapy is still a cornerstone of treatment, but other methods, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), new pharmaceuticals, and technologically-enhanced therapies are changing the landscape of trauma treatment.

CBT focuses on processing through the patient’s thoughts and feelings about the trauma and reshaping unhealthy thought patterns. EMDR helps neuropathways connected to the traumatic event(s) disassociate from painful feelings and associate with healthy behaviors instead. Research in clinical pharmacology continues to bring more medication options for the treatment of trauma-related illness.

Advances in technology are bringing new treatment options for trauma survivors. Neurofeedback uses an interface between brain waves and sensory input to recondition the brain. Some centers are also incorporating virtual reality into their trauma care. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a safe and comfortable way to improve symptoms of treatment-resistant depression and shows promise for post-traumatic stress symptoms as well.

If you or someone you love has symptoms of trauma-related illness, understand that help is available. There is no need to continue to struggle and risk further loss and trauma. Talk to your health care provider today or call our 24/7 helpline.

Sovereign Health Of Arizona

Sovereign Health of Arizona is a leader in the treatment of women with drug and alcohol addiction, mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. Our Chandler, Arizona location was designed specifically for women recovering from traumatic experiences and related conditions. We provide comprehensive assessment and evidence-based treatment modalities that allow women to begin the healing process and move forward toward their lives.

We accept most major health insurance plans and financing is available through MyTreatmentLender. If you would like further information about treatment for trauma and abuse, please call our 24/7 helpline.

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