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Breaking the Stigma: Myths and Facts About Trauma

Breaking the Stigma: Myths and Facts About Trauma

Trauma is an emotional response to a negative event in your life. It can cause symptoms from anger and fear to insomnia and stomach pain — and experiencing trauma can make you wonder if you’ll ever feel okay again.

The psychologists and psychotherapists at Psychology Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, can help you find the answers you’re seeking.

Trauma is complex. It’s different for every person, and we’re breaking the stigma about what it is and how you should (or shouldn’t) feel after experiencing trauma. 

Myth: Only life-threatening situations are traumatic

When people think of trauma, violent or life-threatening situations often come to mind. It’s true that serious car crashes, military service, and other life-threatening situations are a common source of trauma, but they aren’t the only ones.

Fact: Trauma can stem from a variety of different experiences

Trauma can arise from any experience that threatens your well-being, whether it’s mental, physical, or emotional. Situations that jeopardize your physical health can leave you with trauma, but so can situations that compromise your emotional health. A few possible examples include divorce, death of a loved one, or emotional abuse.

Plus, the effects of trauma aren’t always apparent right away. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a complication of trauma, often develops in the weeks or months following a traumatic event.

Myth: Trauma is all in your head

It’s normal to experience emotions like fear, anger, and sadness in response to trauma. For many people, these emotions fade within a few weeks of the experience. But for some, symptoms last much longer.

If you’re feeling unlike yourself long after experiencing trauma, you might think it’s happening because you’re weaker than other people. Or maybe, you think that it’s all in your head and all you need to do is snap out of it.

Fact: Trauma causes real mental and physical symptoms

Trauma impacts every person differently. While some people don’t experience lasting effects, some do — and it doesn’t mean you’re weak. Trauma often causes mental and emotional symptoms, like:

Along with its impact on mental well-being, trauma can affect your physical well-being, too. You may experience symptoms like headaches, fatigue, insomnia, muscle tightness, and digestive problems in response to trauma.

Myth: Trauma will negatively impact your life forever

For many people, trauma is life-altering. You might worry that your experience will have a negative impact on the rest of your life, and you may feel like you’ll never be the same again.

Fact: Trauma can stimulate strength and personal growth

It’s true that trauma has the power to transform your life, but that change doesn’t have to be negative. Actively working through your experience can help you overcome the challenges and emerge stronger on the other side.

At Psychology Beverly Hills, our team has experience working with people to navigate their trauma. We use evidence-based psychotherapy methods to help you examine your experience, process your emotions, and learn coping skills to reduce its impact on your everyday life. 

Your therapist may use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)mentalization-based therapy (MBT), or somatic therapy, depending on your unique needs.

Trauma doesn’t have to define who you are. Find compassionate care and expert guidance with the psychotherapy team at Psychology Beverly Hills. Call our office at 424-331-1568 or request an appointment online now.

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