"Futureminds offers a comprehensive service for emotional wellbeing and good mental health. We believe in working effectively with minimum involvement and in the minimum amount of time"
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Trauma experiences are now thought to be behind the majority of mental health issues and mental health illness. Futureminds specialises in working with trauma using a range of modalities including CBT, EMDR (recommended by NICE guidelines) and Rewind VK technique, recommended by PTSD Resolution whom we work closely with.
Big 'T' trauma's
A big ‘T’ Trauma is any experience that may be defined as an event outside the range of usual human experiences and therefore would be distressing to almost anyone. This generally involves a serious threat to your own life or physical integrity; a serious threat of harm to your children, spouse or close relatives and friends; the sudden destruction of your home and community; or seeing another person seriously injured or killed in an accident or by physical violence.
This type of Trauma takes away the feelings of safety and security and a feeling of being in control which is fundamental to healthy emotional well being. Coping strategies that could once be relied on are no longer applicable or useful, there is a sense of confusion of what to do or who to turn to and their predictability of the world is no longer reliable.
Little 't' trauma's
A little ‘t’ trauma is any event or experience which is perceived to be life threatening at the time of occurrence.
Fairly common occurrences such as someone in a fairly minor car accident may experience that event as life threatening in the few moments of impact and women who go through childbirth and requiring unplanned medical procedures may themselves feel fear and panic with a loss of control of their situation.
The more little ‘t’ trauma’s experienced in a lifetime the more a person is likely to develop trauma symptoms. This is very important when considering children who have difficult starts in life due to separation/removal from a parent, domestic violence, abuse bullying etc.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) is a diagnostic category which has four common characteristics. These are:
- Visualization - the ability to revisualize a terrible event or series of events, often as flashbacks.
- Reenactment - the trauma event is acted out in subsequent relationships as the victim tries, unconsciously, to create an outcome that restores power and control to themselves instead of victimization (bullying, anger outbursts).
- Fear - largely of intimacy and a terror of further pain, loss of control and victimization associated with relationships (anxiety, phobia’s, distrust).
- A sense of futurelessness - that there is no point in creating plans, or expectations of satisfaction because trauma has shown that at any moment they could be destroyed. (depression, lack of motivation).
Sometimes people may not fit the full criteria for a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but can still present with Trauma symptoms.
The impact of a trauma on an individual will be particular to that individual and there are many external factors that play a part. For instance a person who has suffered a number of trauma’s such as redundancy, loss of employment, eviction, bereavement or separation may have coped well with one or two of these but become overwhelmed when all areas of their life are unstable. Trauma symptoms:
- Increased use alcohol/recreational drugs.
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep.
- Difficulty making decisions, concentrating or focussing attention.
- Anger outbursts or irritability.
- Loss of interest in normal activities.
- Loss of sexual desire.
- A desire to avoid social situations/people.
- Over or under eating.
- Loss of short term memory.
People who work in professions that constantly require them help people who are in a traumatic event or have suffered a trauma such as the Police, Ambulance, Fire Service, Nurses and Doctors, Hospice Workers, Counsellors, Therapists and anyone working with children who have experienced abuse are constantly seeing and hearing about trauma and the impact of such trauma’s.
Everyone who watches events on the news of human suffering such as 9/11 or a tsunami or hurricane incident may feel or experience trauma symptoms as the brain struggles to make sense of the images of human suffering. This can even occur when watching horrific or violent films.
Although anyone can develop secondary trauma, people are more prone to secondary trauma if their lives are "out of balance." A work life balance is fundamental to good physical and mental health and regular reviews made to ensure that this work life balance is maintained. It is especially important when individuals are having to cope with their own life experiences such as bereavement separation, relationship breakdown etc. At these times avoidance of news and difficult documentaries, violent or scary films should be avoided and time talking with loved ones, time out to relax and exercise is especially important. Knowing your limits and the state of your own mental health is all part of keeping yourself emotionally and mentally healthy.