Rhonda had a generally happy childhood. Both her parents were loving and treated her well. However, she was never allowed to wake her father in the mornings or after naps. He served in Vietnam and suffered from unresolved trauma regarding the many difficult, painful things he witnessed. As a result, when he woke suddenly, he often sat straight up in bed and started swinging his fists to protect himself. It didn’t happen every morning, and it was over quickly when it did occur, but to keep her mother safe her parents devised a plan: her mother would grab her father’s big toe and gentle jiggle it, keeping her out of the way should it be a rough morning.
Rhonda’s father definitely could have benefitted from counseling for unresolved trauma. It could have made a difference in how peaceful his entire life felt; it’s unlikely he only suffered in the mornings—he was most probably on edge much of the rest of the time.
But it’s not just military members who experience unresolved trauma. Trauma can be caused by a great many different events, including car accidents, abuse, and witnessing traumatic events. While children are resilient, they are also particularly prone to the results of unresolved trauma, which can negatively impact them for the rest of their lives. Adults who seek counseling are often surprised when the uncovered cause of their problems is something that happened to them during childhood.
Whatever the cause, counseling for unresolved trauma can help the suffering person process the experience and change the negative thought and behavior patterns that may be reinforcing the negative feelings. Thriveworks Peachtree City counselors are skilled, experienced practitioners who know unresolved trauma is incredibly painful to live with and can cause difficulty in every part of your life. We want to help you live your best life, and we know you can. If you’re suffering, whether or not you know why, contact us. We can help you feel better.
Unresolved Trauma Counseling – Therapists and Counselors in Peachtree City
Trauma can have both apparent and hidden effects. Just because we can’t see the “injury” doesn’t mean it’s not impacting our lives. That negative impact can affect every part of your life. Trauma from childhood that’s unresolved, especially, can impact the way our bodies chemically respond to stress, and unresolved trauma can also affect our ability to verbally recall memories (Bremner). Traumatic events take a tremendous toll on our minds, bodies, and spirits. And although trauma is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances, it must be properly addressed. If left untreated, the aftereffects can result in broken relationships, addiction, disease, and death. Many people who abuse substances like alcohol or drugs, once counseled, realize they were self-medicating against the pain they felt from the trauma that was previously untreated.
Like so many mental disorders, those who suffer from unresolved trauma often suffer in silence. Many of the signs and symptoms of unresolved trauma are invisible, and you may not know the person is suffering unless they directly confide in you. If your friend or loved one does let you know they’re in pain, acknowledge it and let them know you’re there to support them and help them get the treatment they need. Sometimes just knowing a friend or family member cares and wants to help can be the helping hand they need to reach out to a professional.
There are some symptoms typical of people experiencing unresolved trauma (listed below). If you’re experiencing any one of these, and especially if you’re experiencing more than one and the experience is interfering with daily activities, it is time to ask for help.
Hidden symptoms of unresolved trauma may include the following:
- “Missing” or “losing” time
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Unreasonable attempts to rescue others
- Extreme fears that appear without reason
- Divisive black & white thinking
- Repeated panic attacks
- Being hyper vigilant (Constantly on edge, searching for threats, even in situations that wouldn’t normally warrant such behavior)
- Inappropriate levels of self-blame or excessive survivor’s guilt
- Difficuty with relationships and attachment
- Chronic suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of worthlessness and ongoing depression (Unresolved trauma is often misdiagnosed as depression; in fact, unresolved trauma may cause depression, but once the trauma is resolved, the depression begins to recede.)
- High levels of conflict avoidance
- Eating disorders and/or self harm (Unresolved trauma causes the victim to feel out of control; each of these is the suffering person acting in a way to try to regain a feeling of control.)
- Constantly feeling like a victim
Trauma is treatable. There is recovery. Getting professional therapy for unresolved trauma can help you see the light at the end of your tunnel.
Unresolved Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
While many people think of posttraumatic stress disorder as something only military members who have seen combat experience, but anyone who experiences something traumatic and does not properly process the experience can develop problems. In fact, posttraumatic stress disorder and unresolved trauma are essentially the same thing. While combat can absolutely result in posttraumatic stress disorder, there are many other types of trauma-inducing events. And, there is no use in comparing events; while some will have unresolved trauma over similar events to another’s experience, the pain of trauma is as individual as each person is.
Thriveworks Peachtree City Counseling for Unresolved Trauma
Thriveworks Peachtree City counselors are prepared to help you recover from the traumatic experiences plaguing you. If you’re suffering, whether or not you’re able to pinpoint exactly why, contact us. You can recover. We don’t keep a waiting list, and we’re usually able to schedule you within 24 hours of your initial call, so you don’t have to wait any longer to get on the road to recovery.
Bremner, J. Douglas. MD. “Traumatic stress: effects on the brain.” 2006. Dialogues of Clinical Neuroscience.