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September 1, 2023

Uncovering the Link Between Trauma and Health

Traumatic experiences can impact the way we live our daily lives. Whether the trauma stems from an individual experience or multiple instances, your life is drastically changed because of it. Not only do traumatic experiences shape the way we see the world and others, but they can also influence the ways we see ourselves. Going through life with the weight of trauma on your back can affect a person’s mental and physical health.

Read ahead to find out more about the link between trauma and health.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is the lasting response to living through a stressful or disturbing event. Trauma can be a result of something that happened only one time, multiple times, or over a period of time. When faced with a traumatic event, some might find it challenging to find a proper way to respond. While there is no age requirement for traumatic experiences, the way a person responds to trauma is not an indication of how strong they are.

These experiences and events can lead to various long-lasting disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Acute stress disorder (ASD), or anxiety and depression. If left unaddressed, people might find it challenging to live their daily lives. Some might even find unhealthy ways to cope with the effects of a traumatic event. Examples of these harmful coping mechanisms include substance use and distancing themselves from others.

Symptoms of Trauma

The effects of trauma range depending on the individual. Through trauma therapy and other forms of help, some people find healthy ways to take care of their health and well-being. However, those who do not seek help or attempt to work through their trauma can experience any of the following symptoms.

Sleep Disorders – Unresolved trauma can result in sleep disorders and disruptions. Some individuals might experience insomnia, a common sleep disorder that makes it challenging for individuals to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get good quality sleep.

Some might have trouble sleeping because of nightmares or thoughts of the traumatic event.

Anxiety – Another common symptom of trauma is anxiety. A person with trauma might have a difficult time completing daily tasks. They might experience social anxiety or general anxiety. They might also find themselves constantly worried and uneasy.

Avoidance – Trauma can cause a person to avoid people and places that they might otherwise enjoy.

How Does Trauma Impact Mental Health?

There are a number of ways that trauma can impact mental health. Aside from anxiety and depression, the impacts of traumatic experiences can affect a person in multiple areas of their lives. Here are some of the most common ways that trauma can impact a person’s mental health.

Behavioral Issues

Behavioral issues are prominent in those who experience childhood trauma. Children can begin to engage in unusual behaviors such as difficulty paying attention in school, anger outbursts, and rebellion. When childhood trauma is carried over into adulthood, it can worsen.

Behavioral issues in adulthood can result in significant emotional mishandling. These individuals might find it easier to find alternate coping methods such as excessive alcohol or substance use, avoidance, or emotional outbursts with others.

Developing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Among other types of stress disorders, unaddressed trauma can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition that can impact a person’s life in several ways. The symptoms of PTSD affect every person in a different way. However, specific triggers or reminders of the traumatic event can make it difficult to live a regular life.

PTSD carries a massive range of symptoms, including the following.

  • Anger and aggression
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Low self-image
  • Alienation

How Does Trauma Impact Physical Health?

Not only does trauma have a negative impact on one’s mental health, but it can also be severely damaging to a person’s physical health. One of trauma’s primary strengths is that it reduces a person’s ability to manage stress. Here are a few ways that this is damaging to physical health.

Heightened Stress Response

High stress levels are notorious for having adverse effects on physical health. This becomes even more dangerous when the body has become programmed to overreact over the most minor things. When a person has experienced trauma, their bodies do not respond well to stress.

This heightened response causes more adrenaline to be produced, which speeds up the heart rate and makes it more difficult to calm down. Stress disrupts all of the body’s processes as it decides whether to fight or flight. When minor stressors trigger this type of massive response, it becomes detrimental to overall health in the long run.

Heightened Chance of Chronic Health Problems

According to this article by UC San Francisco, unaddressed trauma is the hidden cause of most preventable illnesses. Trauma, especially in childhood, is linked to increased rates of several health issues, such as depression and suicide.

When a person goes their entire life without receiving help for their trauma, they risk a heightened chance of worsened symptoms if they develop a chronic illness.

When a person is stressed easily and often, it puts a lot of pressure on their body’s systems. Constant strain on the heart can lead to problems with the heart. Similarly, trauma can play a part in the progression and development of the following illnesses.

  • Lung disease,
  • Kidney disease,
  • Stoke,
  • Diabetes.

Looking For Trauma Therapy in Atlanta, GA? Contact Inner Voyage Recovery Center

Trauma can affect your life in numerous ways if we try to ignore it. At Inner Voyage Recovery Center, we take a compassionate approach to trauma therapy and treatment. We understand how much events of the past can impact your future.

If you are looking for trauma therapy in Atlanta, GA, look no further than Inner Voyage Recovery Center. Our team of professionals are knowledgeable and experienced in treating trauma disorders. We are eager to help you address and move on from your past issues. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you or to take a tour of our facility.

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Author

  • Emily Rowe, LMSW

    Emily Rowe is the Clinical Director at Inner Voyage Recovery Center. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work with 8 years of experience in clinical settings covering one on one sessions, family sessions, group sessions, crisis interventions and suicidal prevention. Recognized by leadership and colleagues as forward thinking, creative, empathetic, active listener and effective.

    Rowe, LMSW Emily