Medical and psychological experts understand more and more the catastrophic effects that trauma has on the brain. Technological and research advancements are opening up a new era of brain treatment and therapy, so millions of people who would otherwise have suffered a lifetime of devastating symptoms are experiencing deep healing and recovery from events that would otherwise leave them scarred. Unfortunately, millions of other people do not realize that there is more to trauma than physical injuries. People often overlook other causes of trauma, so learn what these problems are so you can better address them.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as Trauma
People can experience brain injuries without having something actually impact their heads. For instance, many soldiers find that being in the proximity of explosions can cause similar brain damage as an actual impact. The nervous system is designed to respond reflexively so people can escape dangerous situations. An explosion would normally be very dangerous, so one’s normal and natural response is to flee that place and to move into a defensive position. Even though a more rational assessment of the situation indicates that the soldier is relatively safe and that the explosion is expected, the brain’s psychological response to it still shows that trauma has occurred. Anyone who is near loud sounds or explosions could experience a resulting TBI that can produce many of the same symptoms as a concussion.
In terms of brain trauma, medical experts are beginning to discuss the way emotionally traumatic events change both the chemical structure and emotional function of the brain. The following examples can cause such psychological trauma:
- The loss of a loved one
- Surviving a natural disaster (earthquake, typhoon, tsunami, hurricane and etc.)
- Being the victim of a crime
- Losing a job
- Receiving bad medical news
- Exposure to large scale suffering or death
Most people can cope with significant disappointment in life, but everyone has a limit. Some experiences are so deeply troubling and painful that they cause a “fight or flight” reaction in the brain. While there may be no physical injury involved, the emotional trauma is enough to cause the brain to move into a self-protective mode. In other words, emotional problems can devastate people.
Long-term or Cumulative Trauma
Long-term or persistent stress can also traumatize the brain. While no individual event may be too devastating, the cumulative effect over time can be significant. The following low-level stressors can emotionally traumatize the brain:
- Verbal abuse
- Persistent financial struggles
- Sexual harassment
- Life in a dangerous environment
These types of lower-level stress can be just as problematic as concussions. Many people suffer from brain injuries of this type and do not realize it. They may attempt to self-medicate their underlying emotional pain without knowing where that pain comes from. However, professional screenings and support can help people recover from these terrible problems.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as a Response and Problem
The psychological and physiological effects of trauma are grouped together into a syndrome dubbed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) This condition affects millions of people, including soldiers, police officers, crime victims and athletes in certain sports. The following symptoms are quite common for people with this devastating issue:
- Panic attacks
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Reckless thrill seeking
- Self-harm (cutting or burning themselves and etc.)
- Anger-management problems
- Emotional numbness or depression
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
It is very common for patients with PTSD to self-medicate their pain with drugs or alcohol, but this type of coping simply adds to their list of problems. PTSD affects the actual physiological layout of the brain and seriously disrupts the way it works—ergo, effective treatment often involves a combination of medical and therapeutic care in either an inpatient or outpatient format. Specialized types of counseling helps patients gain control of their emotional processes. In other words, recovering from PTSD is a long-term effort that can take years upon years to complete, but you can address this issue to get and stay well.
24 Hour Helpline for Trauma
If you would like more information of overlooked causes of trauma or needs to talk to someone about your issues, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by with the following services:
- Confidential answers to all of your questions about trauma and recovery
- Insurance confirmation consultation
- Logistical help with transportation and etc.
- Information about recovery support groups in your area
- Help for friends or family members who struggle with PTSD
If you suspect that an emotional or physical trauma is haunting you, then please call right now. The key to lasting recovery from PTSD is consistent, comprehensive and fully integrated therapy that takes all aspects of mental and physical health into account. Our staff can help you find that kind of treatment right now, so let us help you find the treatment you need; call now for the best help.