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Reliving Trauma: The Psychological Impact of Past Events 

It has become rather common for several people, especially in the United States, to undergo some form of trauma. Whether you were involved in an abusive relationship, a car accident, or any other life-changing event, trauma can definitely be linked to your present health and how you are currently feeling. Even worse, these experiences are also linked to the possibility of chronic health conditions. Although, there is a way for people to overcome haunting experiences and set them free from the stress and the negative symptoms it may induce. We take a deep dive into trauma, how it plays out in all aspects of our health, and the psychological impacts. 

What Exactly is Trauma?

You may have experienced trauma, but may not be aware of it. Traumatic events consist of incidents that make you believe you are in danger of being seriously injured or in danger of losing your life. It is proven that these events, despite how much time may have passed, can bring about emotional and physical reactions that can make you more prone to a large number of different health conditions. 

The Effects of Trauma

The effect of trauma vary. Traumatic events can play out in a person through their emotions, their behaviors, their physical health, their psyche, and their cognitive health. Oftentimes, many people experience strong physical or emotional reactions immediately after traumatic events. Psychological effects and signs are often seen in weeks or even years after, depending on how the individual interprets the events over time. Let’s first start by looking at the psychological symptoms and effects. 

Psychological Symptoms

Psychological symptoms and effects most often include: 

  • Overwhelming fear
  • Obsessive and compulsive behaviors
  • Detachments
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Emotional shock
  • Disbelief
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Panic and anxiety attacks 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often diagnosed in individuals who feel anxious regarding the incident they experienced. The incident does not always have to include physical injuries for it to be traumatizing. 

Individuals who do suffer from PTSD may also often experience nightmares and flashbacks. They may also avoid places, people, or objects that they associate or remind them of the event. These individuals tend to avoid these instances in order to prevent panic attacks and flashbacks from occurring. 

Behavioral Changes

In addition to the long-term psychological impacts that traumatizing events can bring, behaviors are subject to change as well. Some of the most common symptoms and effects include:

  • Social isolation 
  • Lack of interest in activities 

A behavior change also includes the psychological effect of avoiding activities or places that trigger memories of the traumatic event. Some individuals may try to escape the fear associated with the events by participating in heavy drinking, smoking, drug use, and other unhealthy habits. These can be all considered coping mechanisms, as unhealthy as they can become. Even worse, these habits can, in turn, become health problems, short and long term. 

Physical Effects 

Stress, no matter the shape or form, has a direct effect on the physical effects and sensations of the individual. When people are stressed they often undergo anxiety-provoking reactors, where they will most often experience adrenaline, heart races, heightened senses, and many other symptoms. As these are natural reactors to instances we believe are dangerous, they can wear and tear down our bodies faster. Stress can definitely age your system faster. Even more, chronic stress can increase inflammation in the body, triggering cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. 

What Can Happen if Psychological Trauma Goes Untreated 

The most obvious effect of untreated psychological and emotional trauma can lead to a decline in mental health. Treating the mind is a difficult task, but it can become even harder to change your behaviors for the better when an individual allows their condition to persist. Unexplained aches and pains may arise, detachment from loved ones and social settings may occur even more, and physical health can become poor as well. With that being said, stress and trauma alone are enough to make someone’s health shut down and ultimately place them in life-threatening conditions and situations. 

Receive the Support You Deserve at Latinx Talk Therapy 

The professionals here at Latinx Talk Therapy understand your struggle, no matter how your traumatic incident may have occurred or how it may differ from others. You can trust that we will be able to set you free the burdens of your trauma so that you can lead a stress-free life. Contact us today if you’re ready to overcome your trauma and cast it out for good. 

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