What is Trauma? Trauma is an emotional shock that is the result of an extremely upsetting, painful, or frightening experience. Trauma strikes without warning. There is no preparation for trauma. It strikes suddenly and unexpectedly. Trauma confounds the mind, sending emotions in upheaval. We find ourselves flooded with thoughts, feelings, and memories of the traumatic event that are overwhelming and unrelenting. It is as if a barrage of missiles are firing off alarms and distress signals in the brain. In panic and terror, we find ourselves seeking solutions and asking questions, What do I do? Where do I go? Where can I hide? How do I protect myself? How did this happen? How can I ensure that it never happens again? Trauma disrupts one's sense of security, leaving an individual feeling vulnerable and helpless. When our sense of security is lost or stolen, we move toward self-protective measures (defense mechanisms, maladaptive coping skills, etc.) because our natural inclination is to re-establish a sense of security and safety. Some causes of Emotional or Psychological Trauma * Abuse (child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse) * Neglect * A car accident * Natural Disaster (Floods, earthquakes, tornadoes/hurricanes, etc.) * Surgery * Humiliation * Divorce/break-up of a significant relationship * Witnessing violence * Sudden/unexpected death of a loved one Emotional Symptoms of Trauma * Anger * Feelings of rejection * Bitterness * Fear * Sadness * Depression * Despair * Rage * Social isolation/withdrawal * Confusion * Ruminating * Irritability * Mood swings * Poor concentration * Feeling numb and disconnected * Avoidance * Pessimism * Suspicion * Hopelessness * Denial * Grief * Victim mentality Physical Symptoms of Trauma * Headaches * Digestive Problems * Nightmares * Muscle tension * Chronic pain * Heart palpitations * Insomnia * Addictions * Hyperarousal Trauma can also negatively affect relationships as well as precipitate issues regarding trust, intimacy, closeness, communication, and/or problem solving. Overcoming Trauma It is possible to overcome trauma and its devastating effects. The Word of God teaches us that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). In overcoming trauma, it is important talk about the traumatic incident and not avoid it. (Revelation 12:11) . Sharing our story brings healing heart and freedom to our psyche. It is also helpful to journal our thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Many times trauma dismantles our sense of self-worth and significance, so it is also important to endeavor to take care of ourselves; a nutritious diet, exercise, proper sleep, and establishing healthy relationships are all crucial to overcoming trauma. Psalm 34:19 assures us that we may face many troubles in life, but the LORD will come to our rescue every time. God promises to heal our wounds when we bring our hearts to him in prayer (Psalm 147:3). If you or someone you know has experienced trauma and would like prayer, please call 1(866)460-8976 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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