“Trauma is mostly a silent topic”
The word ‘trauma’ may feel weighty and even uncomfortable to hear. As most of us have experienced some degree of psychological trauma in our lives, it is understandable that addressing the subject may come with immense difficulty and discomfort. Because of its painful associations, trauma is not generally spoken about. This means individuals who have endured severe psychological trauma frequently feel isolated and anxious. Because victims of trauma usually experience the world as an unsafe place, they may also live in an exhausting state of hyper-vigilance.
What is Trauma?
Psychological trauma happens when we experience an extraordinarily stressful event (or sequence of events) which overwhelms our ability to cope. In such situations, several changes take place within the brain, the body and the nervous system.
When we experience a severe threat, the brain initiates a fight, flight or freeze response. As this happens our cognitive processing is compromised, which is why our memory is also often affected by the experience of trauma. With long or regular exposure to danger or threat, our nervous system habitually forms a bias towards the belief that the world is not a safe place and that people are not to be trusted.
Trauma survivors often suffer from long-term dysregulation of the nervous system, resulting in exhausting anxiety, isolation and feelings of powerlessness which further perpetuate the cycle of trauma. Over time, this imbalance can lead to an impaired immune system and physical health problems.