Whether one big life-defining event or a series of little “t” traumas, the negative impact can be the same.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”
Trauma is not always easy to recognize, and whether tied to a specific event or happening over a period of time that makes it hard to pinpoint, the common thread is damage to a person’s mental, physical, or emotional health.
What You Need to Know About Trauma
When it comes to traumatic experiences, we may think of physical or sexual assault, near-death experiences, natural disasters, or significant injuries. But the truth is that trauma is not always easy to recognize. While one kind of trauma can be tied to a specific event, another kind may result from multiple incidents that can’t always be traced back to specific dates and times.
Sometimes trauma happens immediately or over a short period of time; other times, it happens over a long period, in a way that a person may not even have recognized as being traumatic. The common thread, however, is damage to a person’s mental, physical, or emotional health.
Negative Effects of Trauma
There are many negative effects of trauma, but the severity of these effects may vary. “Trauma, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repetitive events, affects everyone differently,” SAMHSA’s TIP 57 states. Without intervention, a person’s thoughts, feelings, and memories related to the traumatic event may grow in complexity and depth. More severe and prolonged responses to trauma may include:
- Intense, disruptive memories
- Persistent exhaustion
- Sleep disturbances and disorders
- Physical sensations
- Fear and anxiety
- Continuous distress
These symptoms can drive the desire to self-medicate with mood-altering substances. Trauma is often an underlying cause of substance abuse and mental health conditions, and it must be resolved so that a person can fully heal and thrive again.
Childhood Traumatic Experiences
Trauma by the Numbers
According to The National Council:
- In the US alone, 70% of adults (over 220 million people) have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives.
- Approximately one in three young adults exposed to community violence will develop PTSD.
- 90% of clients in the public behavioral health system have experienced trauma.
- Trauma can stem from a number of events or circumstances, such as childhood abuse and neglect; witnessing acts of violence; war, accidents, and natural disasters; grief and loss; medical interventions; and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Podcast: Treating Trauma and What’s Underneath
Many times, when people seek treatment for trauma, they are addressing something that happened to them recently. However, there is often something that lies underneath that also needs to be addressed. Chief Clinical Director of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare Scott Davis makes the case that true recovery can only be reached when everything is addressed, not just the part a person is comfortable with. But how do you get a person to open up to meet them where they are?
We’re Ready to Help
Is it time to take that next step? Our Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and will treat you with compassion, dignity, and respect. The Meadows’ Admissions Specialists are here to help you on your way to the healthier, more fulfilling life you imagine. If you are interested in The Meadows Malibu for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out a contact form today!