Are You Minimizing Your Trauma? – How to Tell
It’s not always easy to tell if you’re minimizing your trauma. That’s why it sometimes takes the help of a skilled trauma therapist to point out the signs, so that you can finally move forward. Even though it might be difficult, being honest with yourself is important in order to live a full life. But how can you tell if you’re minimizing past trauma?
Do You Need a Trauma Therapist?
Trauma can be any experience that creates a strong negative emotional response in you. It can be anything from getting in a car crash to having a difficult relationship with a parent. Contrary to popular belief, something doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic event for it to be traumatic. Sometimes it’s actually reactions to day-to-day events that affect our long term emotional health the most.
These are some signs you might have unresolved trauma:
- You don’t like talking about what happened
- You tend to avoid situations that remind you of the event
- You have trouble remembering key details of what actually happened during the event
It can be difficult to measure the trauma we experience because it’s not always obvious, but it doesn’t have to be a huge event. This is often what’s so confusing, the reality that trauma can also be cumulative. It’s important to understand how trauma impacts us and what might trigger our symptoms, especially because it’s a topic that people often don’t want to discuss openly.
It can be challenging to explain to others why we’re experiencing pain or anger after something has happened. This is where an experienced trauma therapist can help you understand how your trauma is still affecting you, so you can find your peace.
The Impacts of Trauma
There are many different ways in which trauma can affect a person, including: feeling disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings, trouble remembering certain parts of the traumatic experience, trouble sleeping, feeling a sense of panic, fear, anger, guilt, shame, as well as a general lack of physical or emotional safety.
Trauma can also result in problems with memory or concentrating on tasks. This can cause difficulties with everyday life. Other signs of trauma can include physical problems (such as headaches, chronic pain, or upset stomach), prolonged sadness, anxiety, eating more or less than usual, emotional numbness, and even thoughts of suicide.
Why We Minimize Trauma
We often minimize the trauma we survived by telling ourselves that it wasn’t a big deal,that we should just get over it, or that others may have it worse. However, as much as we might want to deny our trauma, in reality it needs to be acknowledged or it will continue to influence us. We might think we are being negative by acknowledging seemingly little things that have happened to us, but this makes it possible for us to work through and overcome the past. The important thing is to share these experiences with your trauma therapist, so you don’t have to keep living them.
What Does a Trauma Therapist Do?
A trauma therapist is trained to work with people who have experienced physically, mentally, or emotionally traumatic events. Some ways a trauma therapist can help is by listening, and then offering questions and insights as well as strategies to help cope with the symptoms of trauma. They offer support and guidance throughout the process of trauma healing, so you don’t feel alone.
Remember, even people who experience seemingly “small” traumas, sometimes need care. Some people might be afraid to go to therapy because they think it’s a sign of weakness, but therapy is meant to help you feel better, and it’s one of the best ways to work through your problems in a supportive environment.
Performing a self-assessment can help you decide if trauma therapy could be beneficial for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re worried that you might be minimizing your trauma:
- Are your problems making it hard for you to function?
- Have you been feeling overly stressed, anxious, or sad?
- Have you started sleeping less?
- Are you having trouble remembering things?
- Do you have an increased awareness of your emotions and thoughts?
- Is it difficult to focus or concentrate on anything?
- Do you feel self-destructive, or are you taking more risks?
- Have your eating and drinking habits changed?
- Are nightmares or insomnia interfering with your sleep?
- Do you feel guilt or shame over what’s happened?
- Are flashbacks coming up that you don’t want to think about?
- Does it feel like nothing is going right and nothing will ever go right again?
- Is it hard to enjoy anything anymore?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, trauma therapy might be helpful.
Benefits of Trauma Healing
If your problems are causing you emotional distress or preventing you from living your life, then it could be time to talk to a trauma therapist about it. There are many benefits to trauma therapy, including:
- Learning how trauma impacts us on a physiological level
- Developing better coping mechanisms for handling stress and difficult life situations
- Having more empathy and understanding for yourself
- Getting individualized attention and one-on-one support from a therapist who is trained to help people work through their trauma
- Making sense of your past
- Finding the right words to express yourself
- Improving your personal and professional relationships
- Giving you a safe space to process what happened
At the end of the day, everyone can benefit from having a safe person to talk to. So if you need support, why not give therapy a try?
Talk to a Trauma Therapist
We know that finding the courage to talk about your pain can be difficult. It’s our goal at COPE Psychological Center to make it as easy and accessible for you as possible, so please call us today if you need help with trauma therapy or any other mental health services. You are not alone in this process. Know that we’re here for you every step of the way on your journey towards trauma healing and happiness. Call us today at 310-453-8788 or fill out a contact form online for more information!