Trauma

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions: Abuse

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions: Abuse

When most people think of "trauma", they think of how it's defined in the dictionary: "as a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident". Many people do not think of or recognize the impact that emotional trauma has on ones life. We hear stories of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other major traumas, but rarely do our clients recognize the significance that trauma plays in a person's day to day lives. This week Imagine Hope is helping you understand trauma from a new perspective and connecting how emotional trauma can impact your life- even in the simplest ways.

Preventing Panic Attacks - Resources

Preventing Panic Attacks - Resources

Today, we will finish up with resources for further reading, that will be helpful if you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks or anxiety:

Fall Book Recommendation by Tammy McCord

Fall Book Recommendation by Tammy McCord

Fall is definitely upon us! The leaves are turning and the weather is chilly. Now is a great time to cozy up to a fire, grab a cup of hot cider/tea/coffee/hot chocolate, wrap up in a blanket and lose yourself in a great book. We have a few recommendations for you this week to get you started on your way!

Walking Prey by Holly Austin Smith

One of my passions, aside from being a therapist, is fighting human trafficking. I’ve dedicated this year to getting a professional studies certificate in anti-human trafficking and this book was one I recently had to read for a class.

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 4

This week, we are discussing abandonment issues, and the struggle that individuals with abandonment issues go through. Part 1 and part 2 describe abandonment issues, and part 3 begins to describe the stages that abandonment issues can take.

I want to reiterate what Tamara said, this is different than the normal stages of grief and loss. Everyone experiences these stages.

The abandonment we are discussing goes far beyond that. It pushes something in us that causes us to react to things differently than "normal" grief and loss would.

I am going to discuss 2 more stages today:

Withdrawl

This stage is much like withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using drugs or alcohol, or any addiction for that matter. It is the aching, longing, the craving to have that person back. They yearn for the person to come back. The needs they were filling are more readily noticed and the void feels huge! The same as an addict, you feel the loss of appetite, not being able to sleep, staying awake trying to figure out how to get them back. You feel the true loss and separation in this stage.

Internalizing

This is the most critical of the stages for 2 reasons:

1. You are very vulnerable. You are walking around with an open, gaping wound! You are susceptible to being hurt even worse because of your wound. If you latch on to someone at this stage, you could easily be taken advantage of and hurt even more deeply.

2. You beat yourself up during this stage, making you even more vulnerable. You bargain with yourself. "What if I would of? I should have, could have...". Because you are doubting yourself, your self-esteem is taking a beating. This makes you a target for someone to treat you bad and to get into a bad relationship- which could start the cycle over again.

It is important during the stages of withdrawl and internalizing that you understand what is going on. Get support from family and friends who will help you and support you. This is a great time to seek counseling as well.

Tomorrow Joleen will discuss our last 2 stages. Thank you for reading.

Adapted from "The Journey from Abandonment to Healing" by Susan Anderson http://www.abandonment.net/

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 2

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 2

Have you heard someone say they suffer from abandonment issues? Most people think about adoption or being left on a door step as a child, but abandonment issues can be caused by many more life experiences.

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 1

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 1

Many times, our clients feel confusion when the term “abandonment issues” comes up in therapy. After all, don’t we most commonly think of the literal term, “abandonment”, as being physically abandoned (like an infant who is left on a door step for someone to find) ?

So, what exactly are abandonment issues? 

What is PTG? Part 3

What is PTG? Part 3

This week we have been talking about the positive outcomes of experiencing trauma.  We, as humans, have the incredible ability to be resilient to life's challenges.  When we experience traumatic experiences in our lives, we can learn and grow from these experiences, allowing each of us to find strength and increase our level of functioning, despite experiences of adversity.  Today I will be discussing how we can discover new possibilities in our lives after experiencing trauma.

What is PTG? Part 2

What is PTG? Part 2

Yesterday Christy did a wonderful job introducing Post-Traumatic Growth to us. I highly suggest reading yesterday's blog if you haven't already done so.

Sometimes we'll experience a trauma so great it threatens our feeling of safety and security. It's not uncommon to develop Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms as a result of going through the trauma. While PTS can be painful, scary and debilitating, there can be hope on the other side, which is our topic this week, PTS: Post-Traumatic Growth.

What is PTG? Part 1

What is PTG? Part 1

We all experience scary events in our lives.  Car crashes, medical scares, childhood trauma, military combat, an assault, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks are just some examples of shocking and dangerous situations.  For some people, the events they survive change the way the view the world.  These people may develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). 

How to Process Survivor’s Guilt-1

Survivor’s guilt (or survivor’s remorse), is a term when someone feels they have done something wrong because they survived a traumatic event and others did not. This can occur in a variety of situations, including car accidents, robberies, an act of violence or terrorism, war, natural disasters, medical emergencies, etc. It’s the conflict of being thankful you’re still living while not understanding why you survived and others did not. Survivor’s guilt is often characterized by intense feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, mood swings, loss of motivation, intense grief, obsessing over the incident, flashbacks, and nightmares. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can be present as well.

If you find yourself reading this week and identifying with any of the feelings or issues we discuss, we encourage you to seek professional help. No one should go through this alone!

Talk about it

After you experience a traumatic event, your first instinct may be to shut down and isolate. Trauma has a way of making you feel very alone in the world—and it changes the way you view your life and your priorities. What was important yesterday no longer matters today. Instead of withdrawing, you have to engage. Talk about what happened and tell your story to people who are safe—therapists, clergy, family/friends. It’s ok to tell your story multiple times, if it means you are processing through it. Fight the urge to shut down!

Find a sense of normalcy

Trauma takes your normal and turns it upside down in an instant. Fight to establish some normalcy as quickly as you can. Start exercising, working, and doing household chores as you can. It’s amazing how the brain is wired to crave routine. Don’t push yourself but slowly ease back into it. Things that you once enjoyed may not bring you as much pleasure now, but it doesn’t mean that the joy is forever gone. As time passes, you will once again feel glimpses of happiness and joy. Regain your power as you can and have patience for yourself.

Please check back this week as we discuss more issues related to survivor's guilt.

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

What is Trauma?- 1

This week at Imagine Hope we are discussing what trauma is—symptoms, causes, how to address it, and more.  If you’ve ever suffered from the residual effects of a negative experience in your life, make sure to tune in each day for information. Trauma Defined

Trauma typically begins with an incident—it can be a one-time occurrence or something that lasts for many, many years.  It may have occurred twenty years ago or just yesterday.  The experience often involves a threat to your life and makes you feel unsafe.  Trauma is not just the event itself, but how it made you feel.  The stronger emotional reaction you have, the worse the trauma feels.

Trauma leaves with you a lasting impact that can be difficult to process.  It may cause you to have strong negative emotions, flashbacks, or nightmares.   Trauma may make it difficult to trust others, build relationships, and leave you feeling helpless.

Common Causes

-You felt powerless

-It occurred unexpectedly

-It happened in childhood

-It happened repeatedly

-Someone hurt you

-You couldn’t prepare for it

Trauma can occur in everyday situations.  Often, we think of situations such as witnessing a crime or being the victim of sexual abuse as being reasons for experiencing trauma.  While those are legitimate traumatic events, there are other incidents that can also bring on trauma.  The loss of a loved one, a car accident, a break-up or divorce, surgery, an injury, a natural disaster, loss of a job, a humiliating experience, or even a scary medical diagnosis can cause trauma.

Risk Factors

You are more likely to be traumatized by an incident if you are already under a large amount of stress in your life.  If you have already experienced trauma before in your life, you are more likely to be traumatized again.

Experiencing trauma in your childhood leaves you more vulnerable as an adult.  When trauma in childhood has not been processed, it carries into adulthood.

Children can view anything that makes them feel unsafe or vulnerable as traumatic.  Some examples of situations that cause trauma are abandonment by a loved one, an unsafe or unstable home, illness, physical abuse and/or neglect, sexual abuse, domestic violence or drug use, emotional or verbal abuse, or even bullying.  Once a child experiences trauma, they view the world very differently and lose their sense of security.

Check back this week as we provide more information about trauma.

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.