Oftentimes, we associate trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder with military and combat veterans. In reality, 70 percent of U.S. adults have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lifetime.
Trauma can occur after experiencing and/or witnessing a single life-threatening event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, interpersonal violence, sexual assault and more. Trauma can also occur after an accumulation of other injuries such as emotional abuse, bullying, racism and discrimination.
Thankfully, not everyone experiencing trauma will develop PTSD. For most people, severe symptoms will subside after a number of days, weeks or months. In some cases, symptoms may appear much later than the traumatic experience, even years after.
Common Symptoms of Trauma
Some common trauma-related symptoms include flashbacks, anxiety, panic attacks, avoidance, feelings of fear, guilt, suspicion and anger, personality changes, depression, dissociation and more. Trauma symptoms can also be physical, such headaches, heart palpitations, asthma and pain.
In order to deal with these symptoms, we cope in whatever ways we can. Some people develop harmful coping mechanisms, such as substance use, avoiding friends and family, and constantly being on guard for elements that could trigger a flashback.
In therapy, and through learning about trauma, you can learn and teach yourself to cope in safer ways.
Trauma & Co-Occurring Conditions
PTSD also bears high levels of comorbidity, with a vast majority of people with PTSD having three or more co-occurring mental disorders. Trauma is a risk factor in nearly all behavioral health and substance use disorders. The most common co-occurring conditions with PTSD are depressive disorders, substance use disorders, and other anxiety disorders. Often when treating trauma, such conditions must be addressed in therapy as well.
How to Cope With Trauma
The path of trauma recovery is different for everyone, but if you are suffering trauma symptoms, it is important that you seek help. Trauma can be treated and several affective therapies exist. Additional resources and tools, such as mental health apps and online resources, may also help.
When symptoms occur, grounding yourself back to the present is important to avoid further consequences. Monitoring symptoms can help you understand them to find better coping mechanisms and to talk with a therapist on the best therapy.
At Mira Therapeutics, we have developed the Mira App, a trauma support app for self-management and symptom tracking. The Mira App provides interactive digital exercises based on known grounding techniques that are available anytime when you need them. The Mira App can help you ground yourself, track your symptoms, monitor your progress, and learn about trauma.
To read more about trauma and PTSD, check out our blog!