Learn About

Trauma

Trauma is a lasting emotional response after experiencing or living through a distressing event. Trauma can be a factor of life, it is caused by immemorial time such as wars, disasters (natural & man-made), and other unpleasant and haunting events.

 

Not only does trauma affect an individual, but it also affects those around them. Trauma can lead to post-traumatic reactions that lead to overwhelming feelings. Some people experience emotions going out of control, while others believe that their mental core is damaged by a circumstance that can not be healed.

 

Even though trauma is an unpleasant factor of life, individuals have the ability to manage their well-being by following proper treatments, understanding themselves, and taking care of themselves.

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Signs and Symptoms of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)

  1. Sudden emotional breakdowns

  2. Having flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event(s) (“relive” the experience)

  3. Violence related to flashbacks (being aggressive and abusive)

  4. Feeling isolated and detached from the world

  5. Can’t recall/remember anything from the trauma

  6. Self-abusive actions (to relieve anxiety attacks caused by flashbacks)

Different coping strategies/treatment

  • Language: Many people diagnosed with PTSD were unable to put their traumatic experiences into words. However, the first step to coping with the experience is acknowledging what happened and communicating your experiences with others through therapy, sharing, and discussions. Writing to yourself through journaling is an alternative if you don’t feel comfortable enough to share your experiences with others. Understanding our inner reality will allow us to lessen the isolation of trauma and to alleviate the sufferance from traumatic experiences

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy that allows trauma clients by reconnecting patients to the images, flashbacks, and sensations associated with the trauma in a safe and measured way. EMDR helps traumatized individuals to put the traumatic experience into a larger context or perspective and enables them to observe their experiences in a new way

 

  • Yoga: Yoga flows and breathing exercises allow a traumatized individual to learn self-regulation, cultivate interception, relieve physical numbness, and increase activation of the basic self-system. People are able to let go of the tension in their bodies and focus on the present

  • Mental health service hotline numbers:

    • Toronto Distress Centre: 416 408-4357

    • Crisis Services Canada: toll-free 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645

    • Telecare: 416-920-0497

      • Mandarin or Cantonese​

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Trauma - reaction and recovery - Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/trauma-reaction-and-recovery. Accessed on 04 November 2021. 

Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions - MentalHealth.org. https://www.mentalhealth.org/get-help/trauma#:~:text=Six%20Key%20Principles%20of%20a%20Trauma%2DInformed%20Approach,-A%20trauma%2Dinformed&text=Trustworthiness%20and%20Transparency,Empowerment%2C%20voice%20and%20choice. Accessed on 04 November 2021. 

Van Der Kolk , Bessel, et, al. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. 1943. Viking Penguin, 2014.

WORKS CITED