How Common is Trauma?
Unfortunately, many people experience psychological trauma at some time in their lives. Trauma can be caused by a variety of different events and experiences. Statistics show that 50% of people in the U.S. have gone through one or more traumatic events in their life and, at any given time, 3.6% of adults and 5% of adolescents suffer from PTSD. These statistics vary slightly according to age and gender.
What Psychological Trauma?
Psychological trauma can result from any number of experiences, such as:
- Witnessing or being the target of a violent crime
- Being involved in a serious car accident
- Surviving a natural or man-made disaster
- Death of a loved one
- Active combat
- Sexual abuse or assault
It is also possible to experience trauma by witnessing someone else being injured, hurt or abused. This can arise, for example, when one lives in a violent or abusive household or experienced through media coverage.
Each individual responds to trauma differently, and there is no “right” or “wrong” response. For some, recovering from a deeply upsetting and traumatic experience can be aided by time and the support of family and friends. Other people might have a more difficult journey healing and processing their traumatic responses.
Symptoms of Trauma and PTSD
Symptoms that can occur as a result of trauma include:
- Recurring nightmares
- Avoidance of situations perceived as risky
- Emotions such as anger, guilt, and irrational fear
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event
- Feeling detached or numb
- Inability to focus
Individuals who have experienced significant acute or chronic trauma are at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and experience an ongoing recurrence of many of the symptoms listed above. While about 50% of Americans will experience one traumatic event in their lives, most will not go on to develop PTSD. Several factors come into play when determining who may be at risk for developing PTSD:
- Early childhood trauma
- Frequent or prolonged exposure to traumatic events or circumstances
- Family history of mental health disorders
- Alcohol or other substance misuse
- No healthy support system
Some people who experience symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event will find that their symptoms gradually diminish over time. If your symptoms persist for at least one month and interfere with your ability to function in your day-to-day life, you may be suffering from PTSD.
How Can Psychological Trauma or PTSD Affect Somebody’s Life?
Symptoms of trauma can vary in intensity and duration. An individual living with the effects of trauma may relive the horror, fear, and helplessness they experienced in various ways. This can lead to anger, aggression, and irritability in relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Someone who is suffering from PTSD or psychological trauma may struggle to form and maintain intimate relationships.
A person suffering from trauma may prefer to isolate. For example, he or she may feel uncomfortable in social situations, such as parties, weddings, and family gatherings. Hypervigilance can also cause an individual with PTSD to wrongly perceive a threat in non-dangerous situations. Sleep problems are also common and can affect job performance and family life.
Getting Help and Healing From Trauma
The best thing you can do for yourself or a loved one who has gone through a major trauma is seek professional help. Seeking support early in trauma recovery can improve overall prognosis.
Clinicians experienced in trauma and PTSD can support you or your loved one in processing and gradually recovering from a traumatic event. Each person experiences trauma differently, and recovers from trauma differently. Having a skilled support system that recognizes the complexity of trauma and healing can be very helpful in creating and implementing a meaningful treatment plan.
Trauma Treatment at The Mental Health Collective
By seeking treatment, you are taking a courageous step for yourself and your recovery. At the Mental Health Collective, we understand that each individual is different. Treatment begins with a comprehensive bio-psycho-social evaluation by a board-certified psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist. After the assessment, your clinicians will develop an individualized treatment plan specific to your diagnosis, your symptoms, your individual circumstances, and your particular history of trauma.
Our goal is to help you to recover and move forward from a place of strength, health, and stability. Our treatment approach includes a variety of therapeutic modalities to help you process the trauma. Treatment may include individual, group, and family therapy, as well as medication. We also facilitate integrative healing interventions such as:
- Mindfulness and meditation practices
- Massage therapy
Treatment is tailored to your individual needs. Our goal is to help you recover fully, engage in meaningful relationships, pursue your goals and dreams, and live a life free of the symptoms and effects of trauma. This is why we’ve created a comprehensive and state-of-the-art residential treatment center for trauma in Newport Beach, CA.