What Does Emotional & Psychological Trauma Feel Like?
Experiencing very stressful or traumatic events can leave you feeling distressed, afraid and helpless long after any threat or danger has passed. A traumatic experience in childhood can have a severe and enduring effect that persists into adulthood, affecting your mind and your body, even though your conscious memory of it may be vague, or altogether cut off.
If you’ve experienced trauma you may feel desensitized, disconnected from your emotions and physical sensations, and find it hard to trust or relate to other people. When bad things happen, it can a take a long time to recover from the painful and confusing memories and feel safe again.
Trauma can also be associated with feelings of anxiety and depression. You may experience flashbacks of past stressful events that leave you feeling anxious and out of control. You may also find it hard to connect or build meaningful relationships with others, leaving you feeling lonely and isolated.
If you are experiencing symptoms of trauma, it is important that you seek treatment. Your symptoms, even when they are severe, can improve with psychological interventions and talking therapy with our counselling and psychotherapy team, with medication from our psychiatrist, or a mixture of both. Trauma treatment may include:
- Explaining how trauma affects your body, and how to soothe your physiology
- Working on recognising early signs of flashbacks
- Processing flashbacks through specific techniques
- Working on unblocking the hold that trauma has on your life
- Looking beyond trauma and revisiting who you are in the aftermath
- Connecting more with your body and healing physical and psychological wounds
Our nutrition team can support your physiology with diet and lifestyle interventions, which can help calm your mind and mood, which in turn can help you manage your trauma symptoms.
Trauma Self Help
You may not be ready to talk to us yet, so here are some self-help strategies that can help you reduce your anxiety symptoms:
- Opening up to someone you trust can be a relief and help you better understand your worries and anxiety.
- Look after your physical health by getting enough sleep and following a balanced diet that can stabilise your mood and energy levels.
- Regular exercise will help you battle stress and release tension, as your brain releases endorphins which will improve your mood.
- Breathing exercises, mindfulness and relaxation techniques will help calm your mind.
- Keep a diary of the situations that make you feel anxious and note how you’ve reacted in each situation. This will help you identify potential triggers for your anxiety.
- Avoid things that can exacerbate your anxiety, such as smoking, caffeine and alcohol.