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Here's What “Dealing” with Trauma Really Means—and How It Can Help You Heal

Of course, adults aren’t always in an ideal state for dealing with and healing trauma. Even if someone has a strong support system to fall back on, there are other factors that can hinder recovery. For example, those in marginalized communities whose trauma is caused or exacerbated by systemic oppression must face that oppression every day, Dr. Messman said. Experts believe your genes may also play a role in so-called intergenerational trauma, as does a personal or family history of mental health disorders.

How does trauma manifest and live in your mind, body?

“Our physiology, our emotions, our thoughts, our relationships — all of which can be disrupted by trauma,” Dr. Meissman said. For example, trauma survivors are often flooded with negative thoughts like my heart is broken or I am not worthy of her Say, well treated for wrong self-blame . Research has shown that trauma can also disrupt core beliefs like the world is safe and human beings are inherently good, sending many survivors into waves of depression and isolation.

While everyone copes with traumatic experiences differently, about 6% of people in the U.S. will eventually develop PTSD—a disorder characterized by a variety of distressing symptoms Diseases, including intrusive thoughts, sleep disturbances, and constant assessment of potential threats in the environment. According to the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the rate is close to 10 percent for women and as high as 48 percent for LGBTQ+ people, largely because these groups are more likely to experience sexual assault and other forms of violence.

Many trauma survivors who do not meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD may still experience enduring physical and psychological problems, including difficulty regulating emotions such as sadness and anger, eating disorders, substance use problems, and chronic health problems Conditions such as gastrointestinal, neurological or musculoskeletal disorders.

In your day-to-day life, signs of needing help may look like distance from loved ones, physical presence but emotional emptiness, Dr. Heinz says, or the need for a third cup per night Relax with wine – all of these are examples of organizing your life around trauma. To determine if this is the case, she said it would be helpful to ask yourself, what limits does it have on me, does it limit me so much that my life doesn’t align with my goals and values?

So what exactly does it mean to “deal with” trauma?

“Across all the different trauma treatments and strategies, the unifying theme is that you have to get back to the trauma in some way,” Dr. Heinz said. “You have to go through it to get past it.” Ultimately, in most cases, dealing with trauma means being exposed to the emotions, thoughts, and conclusions you have about yourself and the world. It gives you room to integrate traumatic experiences into your life story, grieve what you have lost, and move forward in a meaningful way.



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