Trauma | Overview & Treatment

Trauma can be divided into three main types: Acute, Chronic, and Complex. Each of these can display physical and psychological effects.

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Daily life is uncertain and, too often, marked by tragedy and pain.

Trauma, referring to emotional or psychological trauma, is used to describe the impact of these distressing or disturbing experiences and the powerful impressions they create.

Trauma can be severe and pervasive, leaving lasting effects on one’s personality, mood, behavior, mental health, and even one’s physical health and appearance.

However, as severe and unavoidable as trauma and the mental health conditions associated with it might be, trauma is also manageable and treatable with help from professional clinicians and support from friends, family members, and loved ones.

Trauma Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you’re struggling with the effects of a traumatic event, and you aren’t sure what to do or even what can be done to help you, please reach out to us.

At Bedrock Recovery Center we offer multidisciplinary, trauma-informed mental health services in a residential or inpatient setting.

Treatment options we provide include medication, stabilization services, one-on-one psychotherapy, group therapy, and other evidence-based treatments that can help you understand and cope with emotional trauma and other issues negatively impacting your mental health.

Types Of Trauma

Daily life is full of minor stressors and emotional moments we process and deal with in the moment. But sometimes, events occur that are simply too much for us to cope with. This creates trauma, an unprocessed psychological wound that changes how the mind functions.

There are several classifications of trauma.

Acute Trauma

Acute trauma is trauma that occurs due to a single, sudden event like a car crash, unexpected loss, or sexual assault. The pain and shock of this event can be overwhelming, leaving a deep and lasting impression on a person’s psyche.

Chronic Trauma

Chronic trauma is trauma related to an extended traumatic event or series of events, including childhood trauma, domestic violence, long-term sexual abuse, active combat, or even severe bullying.

Chronic trauma can produce symptoms that are more complex and difficult to treat when compared to acute trauma.

Complex Trauma

Complex trauma is trauma related to a long series of intense and varying traumatic experiences, as can sometimes occur among refugees as a result of national turmoil, victims of sex trafficking, or among others who live through large-scale natural disasters.

This form of trauma is complex and difficult to manage effectively.

Symptoms Of Emotional Trauma

Both the internal and external effects of trauma can be severe, strongly impacting a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.

These effects can include:

  • physical symptoms, including sleep problems, headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, illness, pain, and loss of appetite
  • psychological symptoms, including anxiety, depression, negative emotions, mental confusion, concentration problems, and memory lapses
  • behavioral issues, including avoidance behaviors, emotional and social withdrawal, aggression, and self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse, self-harm, or life-threatening suicidal behavior

Medical Conditions Associated With Trauma

Trauma, and childhood trauma in particular, is considered a risk factor for a wide range of treatable mental health conditions.

This can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition characterized by prolonged and intrusive traumatic memories or flashbacks, avoidance behavior, negative thoughts and feelings, and tension and/or volatility.

Other related mental health conditions include:

Trauma Statistics

Trauma can and, to varying degrees, does affect everyone, regardless of age, gender, culture, status, or background.

While it is difficult to evaluate the prevalence of trauma as an experience, studies have estimated that around 6-8% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives.

Additionally, roughly 20% of those who experience a severe traumatic experience will eventually develop symptoms of PTSD as a result.

Treating Emotional Trauma

Effective treatment for emotional trauma primarily involves different forms of psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, led by mental health professionals.

Common types of therapy used to treat trauma include:

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)
  • cognitive processing therapy (CPT)
  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR therapy)
  • exposure therapy
  • brief eclectic psychotherapy

Depending on the situation, psychotherapy may be supported with antidepressant medications (SSRIs/SNRIs), sleep aids, mood stabilizers, or anti-anxiety medications.

Support group and nonprofessional self-help resources are also available to support trauma survivors either online or in-person.

How To Find Mental Health Treatment

Speaking with your primary healthcare provider is a good way to access mental health services, as they can give you a referral to appropriate psychiatric care in your area.

You can also search for providers confidentially using the SAMHSA find help and treatment directory or helpline.

Finally, you can contact qualified providers directly as well, including Bedrock Recovery Center.

While trauma is always painful, it doesn’t have to define your life. As time passes and the wounds heal, trauma can even be an opportunity for growth and hope.

Please contact us today to learn more about our trauma-informed care and how we can help support and restore your mental health.

  1. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: January 8, 2024

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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