How to Deal with Emotional Trauma
John Hibscher Ph.D. | EMDR session
What is emotional trauma? How does this disruptive condition start? Why are some people affected by emotional trauma more than others?
Substance abuse therapists employ numerous therapies in combination to address the harmful behavior. However, emotional trauma may not have anything to do with substance abuse. It may be misdiagnosed and mistreated with medications or therapies that don’t address emotional trauma and the causes behind it.
What is Emotional Trauma?
Emotional trauma occurs when the individual is overwhelmed by an unexpected or unanticipated event or long-term exposure to stress and anxiety. Common causes of emotional trauma?
• the loss of a loved one, especially an unanticipated loss
• an accident that causes physical harm
• long-term illness
• the loss of a job
• natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados
• an act of violence directed at you or a loved one
• surgery and rehabilitation
• a sudden medical emergency like a heart attack or stroke
• child and spousal abuse
• a divorce
• service in a war zone
The list of causes of emotional trauma is as diverse as human experience. You can be walking home one day and be robbed at gunpoint. Not only did the mugger take your wallet, but your sense of personal security was also stolen, too.
Not all emotional trauma is caused by physical injury or illness. Living in an emotionally abusive home can develop into emotional trauma over years of exposure to ridicule or lack of support.
A debilitating reaction to emotional trauma is a disorder that (1) can be treated and (2) should be treated to improve quality of life.
Can I Live with Emotional Trauma?
Many people do. They suppress the fear or the anger – the rage or the relentless heartbreak caused by an unexpected death. Life changes forever for the victim and those in her life.
People do live with emotional trauma. Some may turn to alcohol or drugs to attempt to dull the pain of emotional trauma. Some retreat into their very small worlds – frightened to leave the security of the only place they feel safe – at home.
Friends fall away. Human interaction may be tiresome. Nagging from associates to “get help” may only add to the stress in the household or in the workplace.
People do live with emotional trauma. Some self-medicate with drugs. Some become trapped in their own homes. Regardless of how emotional trauma presents itself, intervention by professionals in stress and anxiety treatment should intervene.
Still Living with Childhood Trauma?
Emotional trauma in your life can occur at any time. It can unexpected and sudden, or the trauma could be within you for decades, affecting everything from personal relationships to job performance.
Many people grow up living with the emotional trauma caused by:
• an unstable household environment
• dangerous childhood environment
• parent’s divorce
• parental substance abuse like alcoholism
• serious childhood illness
• domestic violent
• sexual abuse
These traumas may be repressed, long-forgotten memories, or images that are burned into your memory. In either case, if left untreated, the effects of emotional trauma often get worse. Without effective treatment, emotional trauma can turn a satisfying, colorful life into a gray prison that holds you captive from the pleasures of life.
Getting Help for Emotional Trauma
The effects of emotional trauma don’t go away by themselves. In fact, they become more ingrained in your emotional self. You live in fear. You retreat. Life holds no purpose. Each day is difficult and there’s no end in sight.
No one wants to live this way, and you don’t have to. There are resources available to address deep emotional trauma from 40 years ago to the grief you experience at the loss of a loved one.
It’s not a disorder you can cure with a couple of drinks or a few tokes from the bong. The problem – the source of the emotional trauma – remains unaddressed, and your self-diagnosis and treatment are actually making life worse for you and those closest to you.
Hawaii Island Recovery is a small residential facility that provides treatments, therapies, and training in coping skills that bring your life back to life again – like it once was.
Our experienced advisors are available when you need them so please give us a call (866) 390-5070 and let Hawaii Island Recovery teach you how to alleviate the pain of living with emotional trauma.