Your Guide To Doctors, Health Information, and Better Health!
Your Health Magazine Logo
The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Pauline Belton, LCPC-ACS,  EdS, EDD
Trauma Is Real!
Open Conversations, LLC
. http://openconversationsllc.com/

Trauma Is Real!

Trauma Is Real!

The category of “trauma and stressor-related disorders” is a new rubric for the variously named forms of post-traumatic stress disorder, shell shock, combat neurosis and the like. Trauma and stressor-related disorders is mental health disorder that affects approximately 70% of individuals at least once in their lifetime. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a traumatic event as exposure to threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence. Such exposure may occur directly or indirectly by witnessing the event, learning of the event occurring to a loved one, or repeated confrontation with aversive details of such event (e.g. emergency responders, bullying, etc.).

During the pandemic, many individuals and families experienced traumatic events that may very well affect them in the future. There are many resources that are available to help in the event that you have experienced such trauma and/or stress. But first, how do you know the extent of a traumatic event and its effects? Well, here are three main types of trauma categories: (1) acute trauma, which occurs from one singular event; (2) chronic trauma, which is prolonged trauma from repeated behavior of one type of event such as abuse; (3) complex trauma, which occurs when one is exposed from multiple events. A licensed professional counselor or therapist will be able to assess, diagnose and treat trauma-based disorders.

Individuals are unique and process trauma differently depending on their perspective. The brain is a complex yet fascinating organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates our body. Therefore, when individuals experience traumatic events, other organs react in such a way that one may experience all or some behaviors such as deep breathing, sweating, fight, flight or freeze reactions, etc. A traumatic event can lead to mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, impact relationships, etc. when not treated appropriately.

How long can trauma last? Consistently, it depends on the traumatic events and the individual. Healing does not have a timestamp. Individuals need to understand that healing is a process that is different and looks different for each person. Here’s how to help yourself and others:

  • See a professional who is licensed and specializes in treating trauma and trauma disorders
  • Give yourself permission to take care of yourself and permission to ask for help: you deserve it!
  • Know and understand that you are not alone, and you do not have to heal alone

Visit and search for your ideal professional at psychologytoday.com, therapyforblackgirls.com, or Google therapists in your area. You can do it!

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130