How Psychological Trauma Relates To Depression and Suicide
When trauma, depression, and/or anxiety occur simultaneously, the results can be devastating.
What is psychological trauma? Psychological trauma is an injury from a life-threatening or fearful experience that alters one’s perception. This injury causes changes in the brain and can impair cognitive functioning. Psychological trauma can include but is not limited to various types of abuse, natural disasters, witnessing traumatic events, or experiencing a personal loss such as the death of a loved one.
Reactions to traumatic events vary from person to person. Initially, even acute reactions to trauma are completely natural and are not an indicator of concern. However, the coping abilities utilized over time can either help or hurt the person as they move forward.
Initial reactions to trauma that are common can include feelings of agitation, numbness, confusion, sadness, anxiety and exhaustion. More severe responses that indicate a need for clinical intervention include continuous distress without any periods of relative rest, severe dissociative symptoms, intense memories that persist even after return to safety, and self-harm.
Delayed responses to psychological trauma are common and can include nightmares, fear, anxiety, flashbacks, depression, despair, sleep disorders, isolation, hostility, impulsiveness and alcohol/substance abuse.
If your loved one or you have been experiencing:
feeling helpless, trapped, or out of control
withdrawal from family or friends
sleep problems and agitation
citing no reason to live and a desire to die
threatening to hurt one’s self
talking, writing, or drawing about death, dying, or suicide,
please contact the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or go to your nearest emergency room.
Trauma doesn’t have to lead to such painful outcomes. There are ways to cope and heal that are healthy and give hope to those suffering from the effects of psychological trauma. Please reach out to us today if your loved one or you need resources to heal from psychological trauma. Recovery Ways is here to help.