If you have been struggling with feelings of vulnerability, persistent anger, shame, guilt, anxiety and/or depression, you may be suffering from the adverse effects of trauma. Contrary to the stereotyped view of trauma, it does not only affect victims of accidents, natural disasters, war or terrorism. A traumatising event can have a substantially negative impact on someone’s wellbeing even if the damage it caused was not physical.
A negative event is considered traumatic when it overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope with what has happened to him or her. Traumatising events have great impact on someone’s identity and self-esteem, as well as on his or her spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical health. Due to the pervasive and subjective nature of trauma, anyone can be affected by it, be it directly or indirectly.
The following are examples of adverse experiences that can cause trauma:
- Job loss
- Relationship loss
- A humiliating or disappointing circumstance
- Moving to a new location
- Being bullied
- The discovery of a life-threatening disease or disabling condition
- Childhood abuse: neglect, sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional
- Losing a baby or a child
- Witnessing domestic violence
- Being a victim of crime
- Sudden death of a loved one
- Sudden and unexpected loss of a job, housing, relationship
- Living in extreme poverty
- Being raised by inadequate/neglectful parents
- Emotional maltreatment
- Verbal abuse
- Being raised by a toxic, depressed, anxious, mentally ill, substance-dependent and/or suicidal parent
- Parental divorce or separation
Those who experienced a single or multiple traumatic events and did not have a chance to talk about it, or did not have access to psychological and emotional support after it happened, are at greater risk of developing maladaptive coping mechanisms. Avoiding talking about the trauma, keeping it secret, trying to block the experience from memory, denying its relevance and/or impact, as well as drinking, eating, taking prescription medication and/or illicit drugs to numb difficult emotions, are some of the dysfunctional coping strategies victims/survivors of trauma may use to deal with the pain caused by it.
The adverse effects of trauma do not have to last a lifetime. If you have identified with any of the above on whatever level, you may benefit from a therapeutic approach that appreciates and attends to the special needs of those affected by trauma.
Liberty Counselling Luxembourg offers Attachment-Focused EMDR online or in person for those who believe to have been affected by trauma and would like mental and emotional support to overcome its symptoms. Liberty Counselling provides trauma-informed counselling services in an environment of trust, safety, compassion and that acknowledges and respects client choice and control.
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