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The Abundant Life Blog

The Reality of Trauma

Posted by cyndyadeniyi@gmail.com on June 10, 2018 at 3:30 PM

We are becoming more aware of how traumatic experiences impact how we live our lives. Just knowing that it is a problem can be a big step towards limiting its impact on our lives. While overcoming trauma can be hard work, but it is possible once we know that it is there. Here's what we need to know to get started.

Lots of different experiences can result in trauma. 

Perhaps we are most familiar with how the trauma of war impacts people. As a society, we are beginning to do a better job of recognizing the impact of war on those who fight them and as a result, more have begun to recognize how seeing death and having one's life threatened has a lasting impact. We are beginning to see greater sensitivity the victims of crime and the terror they experience long after the crime is over. There are other experiences that cause trauma as well. 

Anytime some experiences an event that threatens their health and safety, trauma can occur. An actual danger does not have to exist, the person simply needs to believe there is a danger. This is why an effective horror movie can cause someone to have nightmares months later. My mother used to tell the story of her life after going to see Psycho. Showers at her dorm were never the same. The students kept the shower curtains drawn back all the time. (Just think of the mold problem that would cause.) We see trauma can occur when there are severe medical problems and the victim is constantly thinking about their own death. We see trauma when a community is riddled with crime. It's more than just war.

Trauma's Impact is not necessarily immediate.

Yes trauma can immediately cause sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and extreme anxiety. It also can cause struggles that start gradually and increase with time such as distrust or hypervigilance. Symptoms can show up weeks or even months after the trauma occurs. Many times, one has to deal with the aftermath of the trauma and does not even notice the symptoms are developing. When trauma is experienced, those around the victim of the trauma need to be aware of the possibility of a problem. Keep eyes open. Notice changes in sleeping patterns, eating patterns, and moods. Are there changes in how the person interacts with others? Are they avoiding people or activities they used to love? Are there changes in personality?

Trauma does not have to destroy anyone's life.

Talking is such a big help when someone has experienced trauma. It really is the first step for almost everyone. Believers, however, have access to the Holy Spirit who knows exactly what happened, what it means, and how the believer can recover. Our access to the perfect Comforter means no one has to be a victim. We can all become overcomers.  

Categories: Trauma, Mental Health

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