A person’s health – both mental and physical – affects his/her behavior and routine functions. It will influence the way you think, react, and interact with people. If your mental well-being deteriorates, you will inevitably have problems dealing with everyday life. Therefore, it’s essential for people suffering from a psychiatric disorder to undergo some mental health treatment. In 2016, the Washington Post reported that nearly 50% of people with a mental health condition in the United States received no such treatment. Since information leads to treatment, let’s discuss traumatic brain disorders and methods of treating them. We’ll talk about mental health issues briefly to educate and spread some awareness.
What is trauma, and what are its symptoms?
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event.” This event can be a case of violence, domestic fight, sexual abuse, accident, natural disaster, or a loved one’s death. Shock and denial immediately follow that horrible episode; flashbacks are typical mental reactions to these painful memories. Some trauma patients have difficulty coping with their past. So professionals find a constructive way of managing these symptoms.
These memories can haunt a person’s mind even years after the traumatic event. The victims find themselves unable to process their emotions and even develop physical symptoms (nausea/headache). If these symptoms persist and their severity doesn’t diminish, it indicates the development of trauma disorder. This disorder affects a person’s personal and public relationships. It’s manageable and can get controlled with professional help. Here are three basic types of trauma disorder:
- Acute trauma: It’s usually the solitary-incident that has happened once in the victim’s life.
- Chronic trauma: It happens when the victim gets extreme exposure to traumatic incidents for a prolonged period.
- Complex trauma: It results from exposure to many terrible events, and such an experience can have long-term effects.
Seven Trauma Disorders And Their Treatment
Trauma disorders are controllable, and therapy is usually the favorite sort of treatment. Trauma patients can find rehabilitation centers to recover from their haunted memories since around 20% of women have experienced sexual violence. Moreover, some 15% of vets have undergone trauma as well. Hence, there are retreats for veterans with PTSD, where they can find ways to manage their wayward emotions. But, before we talk about treatment methods, let’s discuss seven complex forms of trauma disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a relatively well-known trauma-induced mental illness. It develops in a person after the victim has witnessed/experienced a terrible episode. Disturbing thoughts (nightmares and flashbacks) are normal mental reactions in such cases. Some 30% of Vietnam veterans have had PTSD once in their lives. You might’ve seen former soldier avoiding things that remind them of the Vietnam War, another symptom of trauma disorder.
Disinhibited social engagement disorder affects children who were neglected by their parents. Failure to have a healthy relationship with the guardian/caregiver leads to kids developing DSED. Childhood trauma may also result in disinhibited social engagement. This disorder makes minors seek affection elsewhere, and they often lose their natural distrust of strangers. DSED encourages kids to feel safe around them and even get into a vehicle with an ill-intentioned individual.
Reactive attachment disorder shares its roots with DSED but with more severe symptoms. Children who didn’t receive the necessary care/attention from their primary caregivers may develop RAD. This neglect traumatizes them while turning them into withdrawn and disengaged brats. Such kids have trouble controlling their sentiments and struggle to connect with people. Other symptoms include a limited capability to have positive feelings and getting sad/afraid without reason.
Acute stress disorder is related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Trauma also triggers ASD, but there are some critical differences from PTSD. Acute stress disorder occurs suddenly and lasts for much smaller episodes. While PTSD sticks with the victim for more than a month, ASD episodes usually persist for weeks. More than 20% of American adults have this mental illness. If its symptoms retain for longer than a month, the patient begins developing PTSD symptoms.
In adjustment disorder, the individual fails to adjust to a stressful and uncomfortable life event. This event may be a divorce, a disease, loss of employment, or the death of a relative. The need to cope with such losses cause excessive reactions in some people. Consequently, they require professional help to deal with their grief. The prevailing symptoms of AD are anxiety, depression, and problematic behavior. Other symptoms are insomnia, lack of appetite, withdrawal, and crying often.
Vicarious or secondhand trauma occurs when you’re traumatized by someone else’s trauma.
Unspecified origins cause this type of trauma that doesn’t fall definitely into a single category.
A traumatic event can lead to other disorders too. Anxiety and depression may be symptoms of a brain disorder caused by a terrible incident. Such an incident may also cause bipolar or Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have found an unfortunate link between PTSD and suicide. In 2016, veterans accounted for 20% of all suicides in the United States. Therefore, therapy is a must for suicide prevention and managing the symptoms of traumatic mental disorders.
Cure to traumatic disorders
Therapy: Therapies are the primary methods to treat patients with a trauma history. Sometimes, the cure includes a combination of treatment with medicine. We’ll mention the three major types of therapy your psychiatrist may recommend you:
- CBT:- Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to change your thought pattern. It alters the way you think and function. It allows you to come to terms with your horrible past.
- EMDR:- In eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, the therapist guides your eye movements with finger/sound to make you briefly relive your awful memories.
- Group therapy:- These therapies permit you to speak about your trauma with similar patients. Many USA charity groups also organize support groups for people with PTSD.
Medication: Healthcare professionals may prescribe antidepressants to treat trauma disorders. FDA has only approved two SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) medications. These are Zoloft (sertraline) and Paxil (paroxetine). Other unapproved but effective drugs are:
- Nardil (phenelzine)
- Remeron (mirtazapine)
- Elavil (amitriptyline)
Self-care: Self-care is another effective method to control your feelings and manage emotional outbursts. Exercise relaxes your mind and enhances positivity in your behavior. There are breathing exercises for trauma survivors that help them unwind. Other self-care options are:
- Connecting with your loved ones
- Gaining support from other survivors
- Living your life in a healthy & balanced way
The human brain remains an object with mysteries and untapped wonders. It works in mysterious ways, one may wonder. The mind has its unique way of dealing with a stress-inducing and traumatic event. But mere memories of these upsetting incidents may cause some people to undergo psychological trauma. Statistics show that 70% of adults experience such an event at least once. Currently, PTSD affects some 3.5% of Americans (or 8 million of them) every year. But trauma disorders are treatable mental diseases. The cure is available for citizens who have undergone a distressing episode. They can rely on their loved ones and healthcare professionals for their treatment.