Trauma

Trauma symptoms can occur when you experience a situation that is life threatening, or where there is a significant threat to your physical or psychological wellbeing.

Many situations can trigger psychological trauma. Among these are:

-Acts of violence such as an armed robbery, war or bombings

-Natural disasters or manmade disasters such as fires, earthquake or floods

-Interpersonal violence such as sexual assault or domestic violence

-Child abuse

-Suicide of a family member or friend

-Involvement in a serious road traffic or workplace accident

The following symptoms are normal and common reactions to abnormal (traumatic) events. If these symptoms persist for more than one month and significantly interfere with your day to day functioning, we recommend you seek psychological help:

Physical:

Excessive alertness (on the look-out for signs of danger), easily startled, fatigue/exhaustion, disturbed sleep, general aches and pains, stomach problems

Emotional:

Intense fear,  numbness and detachment, depression, guilt, anger and irritability, anxiety and panic attacks

Cognitive (Thoughts):

Intrusive thoughts and memories of the event,  visual images of the event,  flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, poor concentration and memory, confusion

Behavioural:

Avoidance of places or activities that are reminders of the event, social withdrawal and isolation

For some people, time and social support are great healers and these factors can enable people to recover from their traumatic experiences. For others, the normal effects of trauma (see below) can persist for a long period and significantly interfere with the activities of life. When this happens, people can develop Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Psychologists at Altum Health can provide trauma focused therapy for those people who become stuck in their recovery. In addition to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), we have trauma specialists on our team who can provide Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) for PTSD.