“Rock bottom became the foundation upon which I built my life.” 

- J.K. Rowling -
Dr. Sharleen McDowall, Psy.D., C.Psych.
Registered Psychologist
Trauma Trauma

Trauma

 

“If there are no heroes to save you, then you be the hero.” 

~ Denpa Kyoshi

What is Trauma?

Trauma is the response resulting from an experience of excessive stress that overwhelms your emotional or physical ability to cope. Examples of trauma-causing events include war, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, rape, and physical abuse. Traumatic experiences can produce long- or short-term emotional, mental, and physical repercussions, such as anxiety, depression, overwhelming and unreasonable fear, chronic pain, concentration or memory problems, and withdrawal or isolation. They can sometimes result in disabling, recurring panic attacks which leave individuals afraid to leave their homes. Traumatized people may experience distressing flashbacks of the event, nightmares, amnesia, and intense feelings of guilt. Physically, many people develop eating and sleeping problems, leading to exhaustion and malnutrition or spending too much time in bed and overeating.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In extreme cases, an individual may develop what is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. This is often the case when people are exposed to long-term or more severe traumas, such as war or prolonged abuse. The primary indicators of PTSD are 1) re-experiencing of the event, through flashbacks, nightmares and distressing memories, 2) avoidance, through numbing the emotions and feeling detached from others, and 3) hypervigilance and a chronic state of anxious arousal. They may feel irritable and have outbursts of anger, and may stop participating in activities and relationships that used to bring them happiness before the event. These are natural reactions to the extreme stress they have endured, and continue to endure, and can make life very difficult for the individual and those who love them.

If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic event, you may recognize some of these symptoms in yourself or your friend/loved one. Take heart, because there is help and there is hope. PTSD is often a chronic condition, but it does not have to be a permanent life sentence. With courage and perseverance, you can overcome your body’s safety mechanisms and protective behaviours and break free of the debilitating cycle of fear, avoidance, pain, and confusion.

At MCCG, our skilled and empathetic therapists and psychologists are here to provide traumatized individuals with the compassionate, respectful and non-judgmental support they need. We will listen and validate your experiences and your concerns, and we will work with you to help you achieve lasting change and find the love, trust and strength you may have lost. Take the first step toward healing, call us today.

Call us today at 416.485.5555 Ext. 1 

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