Trauma is a term often used, but perhaps less widely understood. Trauma can be caused by a variety of experiences, including things that happen to a person directly or even things a person may be witness to. When a person experiences trauma, many mental health conditions and even substance use disorders may develop as a result. Keep reading to learn more about how does trauma impact mental health and how to find trauma-informed treatment in your area.
What is Trauma?
Answering how does trauma impact mental health requires an understanding of what exactly trauma is.
Trauma is defined as a negative event, often associated with violence or the threat of violence. Any experience that negatively impacts your well-being can be broadly categorized as trauma. There is no universal definition because individual trauma comes from any individual event, series of events, or circumstances that you experience which are physically or emotionally harmful. Sometimes these traumatic events are life-threatening, like getting in a car accident, and other times they might just be physically or emotionally threatening, like having to move to a new place that is unfamiliar, especially during childhood and facing things like bullying or divorce in the family.
Whatever the event, trauma has a lasting, negative impact on your physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The relationship between trauma and mental health is complex and often manifests in overlapping problems.
What Causes Trauma?
While most people think of war, trauma can look different for everyone, including:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Child neglect
- The loss or death of a loved one
- Having a family member with mental health problems
- Having a family member with an addiction
- Systemic discrimination
- Community violence
- Natural disasters
- Domestic violence
- Divorce (for yourself or your parents)
- Having a loved one incarcerated
For some people, traumatic experiences happen during childhood. This might include abuse, bullying, neglect, drug use in the family, violence in the community, witnessing domestic violence at home, or dealing with the divorce of parents. If left untreated, these childhood events can lead to mental health problems in adulthood.
How Does Trauma Impact Mental Health?
So, how does trauma impact mental health? Trauma can hurt your mental health in many ways:
One way trauma can hurt your mental health is with PTSD. PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder happens in about 20% of people who experience trauma. When the symptoms of their traumatic experience continue for months or years, it can lead to hypervigilance, negative thoughts or moods, flashbacks, and nightmares. For most, these symptoms don’t go away without professional help.
Trauma can often lead to substance abuse. This happens when people try to cope with the side effects of their trauma on their own. The side effects might be problems sleeping, flashbacks, persistent anxiety, or bad moods. So, without help, people turn to drugs or alcohol to manage these symptoms and eventually develop a dependence.
Mental Health Disorders
Trauma can lead to the development of mental health disorders. Trauma can worsen the symptoms for people who already struggle with mental health disorders. For others, trauma can lead to anxiety or depression. Trauma-induced depression can become a serious problem that leads to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol.
How to Find Trauma-Informed Treatment Near New Jersey
If you are searching for answers on the relationship between trauma and mental health, it might be time for you to find a trauma-informed treatment center near New Jersey. At Water Gap Wellness Center, we specialize in treating the mind and body as one. That approach requires understanding what trauma may have contributed to your current mental health state and how to fix it.
Trauma-informed treatment near New Jersey helps you recognize your trauma and mental health needs. Our staff possesses clinical knowledge relating to the signs and symptoms of trauma and how to avoid creating an environment that might accidentally remind you of those traumatic experiences. We work hard to help you recognize the individual set of circumstances that may have led to your traumatic experiences. A good treatment center like Water Gap Wellness Center will acknowledge the need to understand your experiences and create a range of treatment activities and therapies to help you address and overcome that trauma.
Water Gap Wellness Center is a Tri-State area rehab center providing mental health and outpatient addiction treatment in the New Jersey area.
Our goals include:
- Empowering you
- Giving you a choice when it comes to the therapy you have
- Collaborating with you and your family to develop a treatment plan that you like most
We communicate with you throughout this transition process, preventing any secondary trauma while creating a safe place for you to develop coping strategies, identify triggers, and move through your trauma.