Most individuals will experience a traumatic event at some point in their life. In response to these events, some of us develop a trauma-related reaction or mental health disorder. The memories and emotions brought on from a traumatic event can be a debilitating and intensely painful experience. There are reports of people feeling a part of themselves have been lost and find that their feelings of safety are stripped away. The ability to mentally process what happened and move forward after an event becomes an overwhelming task.
In addition to the physical injuries sustained in an accident, people often have emotional/psychological trauma that requires care. It is essential to find a treatment that can help you or a loved one that has experienced a traumatic event. At Complete Injury Management, we work directly with a network of psychologists, professional counselors, and clinical social workers who are qualified providers of this type of treatment. These individuals have dedicated their lives and careers to helping people recover from these types of psychological injuries to live the best life possible.
What is Psychological Trauma?
Trauma, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repeated events, affects everyone differently. The impact of trauma can be subtle, gradual, or destructive. How an event affects an individual depends on many factors, including individual characteristics, genetics, temperament, type of event(s), developmental processes, and social and cultural factors. The most common psychological injury from an accident is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Often is seen when a person experiences a traumatic event with high levels of stress but cannot process the stimulus and move forward, meaning they are held captive in the stress response and unable to recognize that danger is no longer present.
Common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Negative Mood/Thoughts: Some people experience a depressed mood after an accident and begin to see the world around them differently. This symptom often appears as a pessimistic attitude, a belief that driving is now unsafe and dangerous, or believes that they will not recover from their injuries.
- Avoidance/Emotional Numbing: Avoiding people and activities such as driving or riding in the car. Avoiding the spot of the accident or driving on the freeways, or isolating oneself from social interactions, and avoiding telling people about the accident.
- Intrusive Thoughts/Re-Experiencing: This can include nightmares, flashbacks, and visual and auditory reminders of the accident, or repetitive and unwanted thoughts about the accident or injury. These thoughts often come with some level of emotional distress and anxiety.
- Hyper-arousal: Often described as anxiety or panic attacks, this is a nervous response to reminders of the trauma. This can also be an expectation of danger when none is present.
Getting Help with Trauma Counseling
Psychological trauma can affect someone for years after the event or situation that caused it. It is essential that you find a psychiatrist and trauma treatment program that can address their individual needs. Trauma therapy is focused on the individual needs of a patient and centers around specific goals the patient has for their personal improvement.
One treatment includes guided counseling and talking with a qualified practitioner to treat the emotional and mental health consequences directly related to a specific trauma. Studies have found that a majority of patients who attend regular, customized trauma therapy sessions see a reduction in their symptoms similar to the effects of peer groups who used medication to treat similar cases.
Other popular forms of treatment involve Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for adults through evaluation of the upsetting thoughts occurring since a traumatic experience and Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) programs for children providing a guiding framework for thoughtful clinical intervention with youth who have experienced complex trauma and their caregiving systems.
When to Seek Professional Therapy for Trauma
If you or a loved one suffer from trauma-related mental health symptoms, it’s essential to reach out for help. If you see or experience the following, it may be time to consider professional help:
- Trouble functioning in normal environments (work/home)
- Suffering from anxiety or depression
- Unable to create or maintain meaningful, close relationships
- Repetitive negative thoughts or nightmares
- Avoiding activities begin to affect your daily life
- Emotional disconnection
- Drug or alcohol abuse
Psychological injuries rarely correct themselves independently, but trauma-related symptoms can be alleviated for good with time and guidance. Complete Injury Management understands the impact that these invisible injuries can have on someone and that counseling plays a vital role in a person’s recovery.
To find a qualified provider today, please contact us.