Abuse and Trauma
Being a victim or a witness of any physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological abuse can adversely affect anyone’s mental wellbeing and must be addressed. This form of trauma can result from a single event, or a series of events in which there is a threat to their life or safety.
Any type of abuse or trauma can lead to overwhelming feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. But it can also leave that person feeling alone and frightened or numb and rejected, which ultimately leads to severe anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. All of these will eventually affect someone’s ability to function or build trusting relationships.
Some suffer from terrifying memories, nightmares, and flashbacks, and in cases where post-traumatic stress disorder is prevalent, some abuse drugs and alcohol in the hope that they will begin feeling better.
It is imperative that anyone experiencing symptoms of a mental illness as a result of abuse or trauma seek professional support to heal and move forward. If left alone, these symptoms will manifest and cause problems at home and work.
Children experiencing trauma can have severe and long-lasting effects, such as withdrawing from others, living with feelings of guilt, shame, or confusion. If not treated or resolved while they are young, those feelings of anxiety, fear, and helplessness carry over into adulthood, setting the stage for future trauma.
Most therapists will conduct an assessment before individualizing a treatment plan. Many survivors of abuse and trauma find it easier to initiate the healing process by first processing the events and feelings they experience, talking about them in a safe environment. Using a varying degree of treatment methods, therapists are able to teach clients how to regulate emotions, rebuild trust, and develop healthier means of coping with life.