Initial reactions to trauma can include exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, confusion, physical arousal, and blunted affect. Most responses are normal in that they affect most survivors and are socially acceptable, psychologically effective, and self-limited.
Trauma symptoms typically last from a few days to a few months, gradually fading as you process the unsettling event.
Eat a balanced and healthy diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, avoid doing drugs and alcohol, and take adequate time to relax. Practice mindfulness: Building a regular meditation practice can train your brain to calm down and focus, thereby reducing the symptoms of PTSD episodes.
With practice, the reaction to your emotional triggers could subside, but they may never go away. The best you can do is to quickly identify when an emotion is triggered and then choose what to say or do next.
Life can move smoothly at times, but inconveniences are inevitable. People and situations aren’t always predictable. Take yourself out of your own mind, and think about how other people might feel about things. Overreactions sometimes happen when we get hyper-focused on ourselves and our own emotions.
A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma. This reminder can cause a person to feel overwhelming sadness, anxiety, or panic. It may also cause someone to have flashbacks. A flashback is a vivid, often negative memory that may appear without warning.
To tag posts with triggers, either type in “trigger warning” or, to be more specific, “tw:” followed by what the trigger is (e.g. “tw: depression”).
We call a stimulus that impacts behavior a “trigger.” Triggers can be both positive and negative. An example of a positive trigger is smiling back at a smiling baby. However, it is the negative triggers that we need to become aware of that can cause us to “go reactive.”
The key is to show that you’re listening, to respond appropriately, and to ask relevant questions that are triggers for the individual to express themselves fully. Encouraging gestures, nods, and appropriate and open body language will help the speaker to know that they are truly being listened to.
Responses to Triggers
You may feel strong emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, numbness, or feeling out of control. Being triggered may primarily show up in how you behave; you might isolate yourself from others, become argumentative, shut down emotionally, or become physically aggressive.
Pathological self-soothing behaviours generally have an escapist quality to them. When our discomfort becomes too much for us to handle, we can ‘escape’ or ‘flee’ from the discomfort through overindulging in food (comfort eating), alcohol and drugs (self-medication), gambling, shopping, sex addiction (acting out).
Yes, unresolved childhood trauma can be healed. Seek out therapy with someone psychoanalytically or psychodynamically trained. A therapist who understands the impact of childhood experiences on adult life, particularly traumatic ones. Have several consultations to see if you feel empathically understood.
Studies have found that more than half of all trauma survivors report positive change—far more than report the much better-known post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic growth can be transformative. Post-traumatic growth can be powerful.
Common triggers for anger may include injustice, stress, financial issues, family or personal problems, traumatic events, or feeling unheard or undervalued. Sometimes, physiological processes, such as hunger, chronic pain, fear, or panic can also provoke anger for no apparent reason.
Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.
If you often feel as though your life has become unmanageable, this could be a sign that you have some unresolved emotional trauma. Emotional overreactions are a common symptom of trauma. A victim of trauma might redirect their overwhelming emotions towards others, such as family and friends.
Many factors can cause or contribute to irritability, including life stress, a lack of sleep, low blood sugar levels, and hormonal changes. Extreme irritability, or feeling irritable for an extended period, can sometimes indicate an underlying condition, such as an infection or diabetes.
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