Trauma can affect our lives for a long time, sometimes even years – if it is left untreated and not dealt with. For example, the Corona period can cause trauma and anxiety. Being in or witnessing terrorists' attacks or serving in the army can also take their toll.
Causes of Trauma
Trauma can result from a serious incident like an attack or accident. It can be caused by the death or departure of a loved one. It can also be caused by sexual event such as rape or sexual abuse. Trauma can also result from verbal or physical violence and affect us even a long time after the event, or even if we say to ourselves that we have overcome it.
Post-trauma, such shell shock or combat stress is also a well-known psychological phenomenon that requires treatment.
The trauma affects each person differently. For example, a woman who has experienced sexual abuse as a child may be sexually cool or avoid a marital relationship in order to evade triggering the traumatic memory. She may also develop Candida, or recurrent urinary tract infections that will give her an "excuse" and a "reasonable reason" to avoid intercourse.
Another example is a woman who was in a terrorist attack and then started to suffer from Fibromyalgia. The disease's symptoms includes fatigue and pain in varied body parts with no inflammatory findings and whose modern medicine does not understand its origin.
It is important to understand that traumas cause and leave mental scars, and if they are left untreated, can affect the entire body. The mind is the root, the source, and it is advisable to listen to it and treat the trauma, and better sooner than later. This will prevent the trauma's future growth. Think of a snowball, that as time goes on it rolls more, accumulates more snow, more power, grows and grows…
Sometimes the trauma can also cause partial dysfunction or even dysfunction due to its paralyzing effect. It can severely damage self-confidence as well as body image.
Silence – Sometimes the trauma is accompanied by silence. People may feel they do not want to tell what happen so that no one will ever find out about it. There may be a feeling of inner shame. The silence makes the situation worse because it only increases the intensity of the snowball, and only incites the burning fire inside.
Guilt – Sometimes we will also take the blame on ourselves: "I should have been more careful", "I deserve it", "I am guilty", "I behaved wrongly so it happened". In this case it is particularly important to know that it is not your fault! It is an essential part of the process of self-acceptance and recovery.
Negative emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness and even depression and anxiety can lead to self-flagellation and self-hate. This can lead to varied levels of introversion or avoidance of social situations. These negative emotions can also lead to emotional eating and unhealthy behavior.
Ways to Deal with Trauma
Recognizing that there is a problem, that there is trauma and that it affects us, is key and incredibly important. Many times, we repress and deny the trauma because it is all hard for us to deal with. It's easier to ignore it or say "everything is fine" – when everything is actually wrong. Understanding and awareness are half the way to the solution and relief. After all, if something is dormant – how do we handle it? But when you are aware of it – it is already a significant step in the right direction.
Tell about it – share the trauma with a close family member or friend. Even if years have passed, even if in your opinion this is not the "end of the world". When the trauma is "stuck" in your memory, whether it is in the subconscious or the subconscious, one way deal with it is to tell and talk about it. For example, someone who has been raped talks about what happened and shares with others in order to encourage them to talk and get help. A bereaved mother whose son has died in a bombing talks about it to other moms and tries to alleviate their pain. When the repression is released then something in the body also opens up and is released. Sometimes it is easier to break through the barrier of silence and shame with someone who you know and trust. Sometimes it is easier to confide in a therapist who will be even more attentive and can help deal with the pain and grief.
The second article will detail additional ways to deal with trauma. Indeed, this is challenging and requires a lot of mental strength but it is possible to overcome! It is better to deal with the trauma at last and to reach relief and even joy!
Noa Roll is a certified naturopath (ND) and founder of The Aleph Factor.