Trauma Treatment, Symptoms, Causes & Therapies
What is Trauma?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) , trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer-term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions. Trauma Treatment often focuses on helping people integrate their emotional response to the trauma.
As stated by the National Institute of Mental Health,  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it.
This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when they are not in danger.
Different Reactions to Trauma Treatment
When trauma happens, individuals can react in a few different ways. Some might adopt avoidance techniques so they do not need to face the effects that the trauma has produced, while others simply cannot stop ruminating about their traumatic experience. There is no wrong way to react to trauma, however, continuing to live with the negative effects of it can be damaging and lead to even more trauma. Within the United States, approximately 70 percent of adults have experienced one form of trauma within their lives. From that 70 percent, 20 percent end up developing posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It is reported that over 13 million American adults are currently struggling with PTSD. 
A significant symptom of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol . Trauma, because it is stored in the body, gives rise to somatic disturbances and upsetting body sensations such as heart-pounding, queasiness, sweating, tightness of muscles, and shortness of breath.
Nightmares and flashbacks can cause disturbing trauma imagery and trigger our body sensations. This can become a brutal circle in which the body and mind play off each other causing a negative synergy in which the disturbing imagery triggers disturbing body sensations and vice versa, putting trauma survivors into a black hole that they can have trouble finding their way out of.
Drugs and alcohol, for the trauma survivor, can provide a way to quiet the mind and the body that they can have control over, a sort of self-administered trauma treatment or medication. These medications can change into full-blown addictions whether the medication is drugs, alcohol, or prescription pills. As the body builds tolerance and both body and mind become addicted, greater amounts of the drug are needed to feel better.
Some people who have experienced trauma might have a small period of time where they are sad, mad, or hurt, but in time, overcome those emotions. Others might find that they suffer from several different effects that continue to linger and become disruptive in their lives. Trauma can cause emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms that are challenging to cope with.
- Problems with concentration
- Mood swings
- Guilt and shame
- Racing heartbeat
- Social isolation
- Feeling hopeless and disconnected
- Muscle tension
- Easily startled
Types of Trauma
There are several different types of traumas that are common throughout the majority of those struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Domestic violence
- School violence like bullying
- Medical trauma
- Natural disasters
- Psychological maltreatment
- Sexual assault like rape
- Combat exposure
- Sexual abuse
- Neglect as a child
- Unexpected loss
Why do some people develop PTSD and other people do not?
It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder. Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.
Some factors that increase the risk for PTSD include:
- Living through dangerous events and traumas
- Getting hurt
- Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
- Childhood trauma
- Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
- Having little or no social support after the event
- Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
- Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse
Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:
- Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
- Finding a support group after a traumatic event
- Learning to feel good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
- Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
- Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear
Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and to prevent it.
PTSD and Trauma Treatment
Trauma and its effects are usually touchy subjects and ones that those who are most affected typically do not want to discuss, as doing so can be painful. However, continuing to live with the impacts of trauma can cause more damage than possibly imagined. These Trauma treatments are efficient, effective, and readily available for therapists’ use. These are the trauma therapies with the strongest evidence for success include:
- Exposure therapy: such as prolonged exposure therapy – is principally driven by experiential learning through exposure techniques. The individual systematically engages the two avoidances, the memory of the trauma and reminders of the memory.
- Prolonged exposure: The goal of PE is to minimize the symptoms of PTSD by finally addressing the effects of the trauma.
- Cognitive therapy including cognitive processing therapy: is driven by a more cognitive approach to the beliefs surrounding the traumatic event and the client’s responses post-event. One component of treatment might be for the individual to write down the narrative of the traumatic event to process it more completely. Furthermore, CPT helps individuals manage these self-beliefs by comparing them against whether they are factual. For example, a sexual assault survivor might feel as though he or she gave the attacker the wrong message.
- Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): is one of the most effective trauma treatments today. In a session, an individual will choose the part of their trauma that is upsetting to them. They will be asked to think about that trauma while following an object, set of lights, or even the therapist’s finger, it will take 30 seconds. When done, the individual will speak to the client about their thoughts and start to talk through them and develop applicable coping skills to help decrease the presence of PTSD.
- Stress Inoculation Training (SIT): is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You can do it by yourself or in a group. You will not have to go into detail about what happened. The focus is more on changing how you deal with the stress from the event.
- Medications: The brains of people with PTSD process threats differently, in part because the balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters are out of whack. Constantly trying to shut that down could lead to feeling emotionally cold and removed.
Impatient Trauma Treatment
Inpatient trauma treatment can be a beneficial option for those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse (co-occurring). In particular, inpatient programs allow patients to engage in therapeutic therapy while also receiving treatment options such as detoxification. Inpatient programs also: – Allow patients to focus on their recovery without outside interruptions, provide 24/7 trauma treatment from highly trained professionals. In addition to standard substance use disorder services, inpatient programs typically offer specialized that address problems related to substance abuse.
In Inpatient Recovery Centers, you’ll be surrounded by others who are facing similar challenges to recognize that you’re part of something greater than just your addiction.
California Trauma Disorders Treatment
Living with Trauma can cause major health, social, and even economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up California Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe trauma treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
 American Psychological Association (APA) (www.apa.org/topics/trauma)