There are people around you who may not be able to handle the ordeal you share with them, so be mindful of expectations you may have towards them for how you expect them to handle what you share with them. Some people just don’t have the capacity to handle what you share with them and that’s okay, they aren’t professionals.
But peer support to get through it with people who have experienced similar, can be just as helpful as seeking professional support too.
There are effects of trauma and it can show up differently for different people depending on what they experienced such as how your body will respond to the trauma and mental health effects of the trauma. Effects on the body can include stress, body releases of hormones cortisol and adrenaline for the body’s automatic way of preparing to respond to danger, you have no control over. As well as this there can also be the long term impact on your physical health and mind.
So these can usually occur –
Freeze – feeling paralyzed or unable to move.
Flop – doing what you're told without being able to protest.
Fight – fighting, struggling or protesting
Flight – hiding or moving away.
Fawn – trying to please someone who harms you.
Some of the common effects of trauma can also include-
· Flashbacks – reliving aspects of a traumatic event or feeling as if it is happening now, which can happen whether or not you remember specific details of it.
· Panic attacks – a type of fear response. They are an exaggeration of your body's response to danger, stress or excitement.
· Dissociation – one way your mind copes with overwhelming stress. You might feel numb, spaced out, detached from your body or as though the world around you is unreal.
· Hyperarousal– feeling very anxious, on edge and unable to relax. You might be constantly looking out for threats or danger.
· Sleep problems– you might find it hard to fall or stay asleep, feel unsafe at night, or feel anxious or afraid of having nightmares.
· Low self-esteem– trauma can affect the way you value and perceive yourself.
· Grief – experiencing a loss can be traumatic, including someone dying but also other types of loss. Many people experience grief as a result of how trauma has changed their lives. You might feel that trauma has caused you to miss out on some things in life, which can also lead to feelings of loss.
· Self-harm – hurting yourself as a way of trying to cope. This could include harming parts of your body that were attacked or injured during the trauma..
Please understand that the trauma you are experiencing from the traumatic experiences aren’t your fault, they are what happened to you but it doesn’t define you. Don’t feel guilty or shame as though you are to blame for it, or that you don’t deserve good because with this it can be one way your mind tries to make sense of what has happened, and to avoid overwhelming feelings of anger, grief or betrayal. Also wishing you had done something differently, can be a heavy burden to carry living with the blame day to day as well as the effects of the trauma.
With this transfer responsibility- It can occur where you are made to take responsibility for what happened to you by another person so that also adds to you thinking it was your fault.
Lastly trauma can affect long term in different ways not just your body, a few examples include – Day to day living a normal life, maintaining careers, trusting others, maintaining friendships, coping with change, enjoying leisure time.
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