Trauma can be defined as a deeply disturbing or distressing event. The results of a traumatic event can affect an individual’s physical, emotional or psychological wellbeing. A person who has suffered serious trauma is at greater risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicide. To overcome the long-term effects of trauma, people often require a trauma therapy program at a trauma treatment center, consisting of specialized medical, psychological and psychiatric care.

How Trauma Affects the Mind and Body

Immediately after a traumatic event, individuals may demonstrate a range of reactions, which depend on their life experiences, their coping skills, community support, and other factors. Reactions may range from very loud, reactive and emotional, to very quiet and even stoic. The actual form that the initial reaction takes is less important than whether their coping mechanism allows the victim to operate successfully, completing daily tasks, maintaining self-esteem and maintaining healthy relationships.

The response to trauma becomes concerning when they are long-lasting and disruptive. More severe responses to trauma may include:

Emotional

  1. Depression
  2. Irritability/Hostility
  3. Anxiety
  4. Numbness

a group of patients in a trauma therapy program

Mental

  1. Memory Loss/Amnesia
  2. Emotional Detachment
  3. Depersonalization-Sense of being outside of one’s own body.

Physical

  1. Sleep disorders
  2. Gastrointestinal issues
  3. Cardiovascular issues
  4. Urological disorders

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-Possibly long-term mental health issues triggered by trauma where the person may experience anxiety, flashbacks, anxiety, nightmares as well as uncontrollable memories of the traumatic event.

Biological Changes-Trauma may also result in long or short-term changes in biological functions. These changes may contribute to the physical, emotional and physical issues listed above. These biological changes may include:

  1. Limbic System – The limbic system is the part of the brain that deals with emotions, memory, and arousal and includes the Amygdala, Hippocampus, Thalamus, prefrontal cortex. Additionally, the victim may experience the memory of the traumatic event, complete with a replay of emotional and physical sensations
  2. Hypothalamus- In patients suffering from trauma, the hypothalamus may continue to release corticotropin-releasing-hormone (CRH) which appears to play a role in depression

Trauma can have a long-lasting impact physically, emotionally and psychologically. The effects of trauma can dramatically alter a person’s life. They can disrupt work, family life, and other social interactions and make the individual more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicide.

Trauma Therapy Program: Treatment

An effective trauma therapy program in Houston will involve a multi-faceted approach dealing with the physical, mental and emotional impacts of trauma. There are several methodologies for treating trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-This type of therapy involves helping the patient understand their thoughts and feelings and how to change disturbing thoughts and behaviors.
  2. Cognitive processing therapy- Guided by the therapist, the patient identifies and challenges distortions in the way they perceive themselves, the world and others.
  3. Medication Assisted Treatment-Treatment may also involve medication in conjunction with therapy to deal with the symptoms of trauma and PTSD. For example, benzodiazepine may be prescribed for anxiety. Care must be taken, however, because some drugs are addictive.

What to Look for in a Trauma Therapy Program

If you or someone you love is suffering from trauma or PTSD, seek support immediately. Look for a trauma therapy program that offers a variety of therapeutic approaches and deep experience in trauma therapy.

If you are seeking a trauma therapy program, consider the trauma treatment center at Serenity House Detox. In addition to long experience helping patients deal with trauma, we are also experienced helping patients deal with the substance abuse that often goes hand in hand with trauma. Call us today at 866.516.8356.