Do you have questions about trauma? While I am not an expert in "everything" or "every method used to treat it" I do specialize in treating trauma for first responders, military, veterans, and other professionals. I also have experience working with childhood trauma and abuse (regular and sexual).

Feel free to look at my webpage if you want to know a bit more about me and to verify.

Disclaimer: My answers on this post do not establish a therapeutic relationship between us and should not be taken as "therapy" or "counseling." If you need individual therapy or crisis services please reach out to someone licensed in your area or providing crisis work in your area.

My therapeutic training for trauma includes: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Trauma-Focused: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF:CBT)

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of my skills, but just to give you an idea of the lens through which I view trauma work.

Want to learn a bit more about these modalities? I have some videos and descriptions about them on my website on my personal page and on the page talking about trauma specifically

So many great questions and a wonderful discussion. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and couldn't get to everyone's questions. Thank you for taking the time to reach out, be vulnerable, and support each other. I will try as time allows to get to a few more as I have moments...but I work so it may not be quickly.

Comments: 900 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

bbbbaconsizzle518 karma

Can a person experience psychological trauma effects even if there is no memories whatsoever of the event? For example: a car accident with tbi.

Resilience-7648 karma

I believe so. Trauma can be preverbal from something you were told about that happened to you as a child. For example, knowing you were "rejected" as an infant. So "knowing" what happened but not having an actual memory of it can still be impactful.

bbbbaconsizzle91 karma

What are common ways this can present and common ways to help?

Resilience-765 karma

Etc. Not an exhaustive list for sure. that event... your own specific memory or not. Triggers to things that don't make sense from your recalled memory...but do when told about what happened to you.

Etc. Not an exhaustiive list for sure.

As far as what can help..trauma counseling if it is very impactful, focusing on resolving that trauma.

septicman174 karma

FWIW I have looked into this for my own therapy, and the book "The Body Keeps The Score" was recommended to me, which I have found useful in understanding and addressing some issues. Here's the blurb from Good Reads:

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence.
Such experiences inevitably leave traces on minds, emotions, and even on biology. Sadly, trauma sufferers frequently pass on their stress to their partners and children.

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies.

Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives

The (very short) premise is that traumatic stuff that happens to you can leave a 'physical imprint' on you, and affect your life even if you have no conscious knowledge of the event(s).

Here's a (non-Amazon) link to the book, if you're interested:
The Body Keeps The Score

Resilience-770 karma

Yes that is a really good book. If you read it you will see he supports EMDR and more

maui_wowee356 karma

I have sexual childhood trauma that is posted on a legal website due to it being involved in a landmark custody battle in the early 90s, before HIPAA was established in 96. Therefore, employers, co workers, partners, landlords etc. can easily see this information (psych analysis, abuse claims etc. of me when I was 2 1/2 y.o) by googling my legal name (I go by a pseudonym involving my middle name otherwise). This has prevented me from fully being able to let go and move on. It has also been the cause of job losses, homelessness and severe depressive spells. And yes I have tried everything to get it taken down. Any suggestions?

Resilience-7152 karma

I am really sorry that this happened to you. Do you feel like you have fully processed that trauma? It sounds like you have more work to do on this. If you haven't I would suggest you seek out someone to help you finish this process. That way when someone mentions this you can speak about it as you would a scar vs them touching an open infected wound. I know that is not "enough" but that is the part you have power and control over right now.

Coachtzu311 karma

What's the best way to find a therapist? I think I should, but can't really afford to keep doing a lot of one or two sessions here or there while I hunt around for the right person. Is it rude/offensive/unlikely to ask to get a free intro session type deal?

Resilience-7404 karma

Ask if they do free consultations. Many will do a short phone call or video session (about 15 to 30 minutes is average). I actually require these. This way I can increase the chances that the person and I "fit." I don't like to have to refer on either. It is not a guarantee but it will certainly increase your chances. Also, start a list of what you like and don't like in your therapy and what works and doesn't work. Then share this in that consultation. If they are not a good fit for you, then perhaps they can assist in finding the right they likely know more therapists than you do.

TheBaddestPatsy293 karma

What’s one thing you really wish everyone knew?

Resilience-7728 karma

There is light at the end of the tunnel. It's ok to reach out and find someone to be your professional guide to get there.

DreamxSZN199 karma

How do you go about treating someone suffering from childhood trauma?

Resilience-7400 karma

Well, the modalities I use are EMDR, CPT, CBT, and TF: CBT (lots of alphabet soup right? ) Anyway you can watch some videos and read some descriptions on my webpage if you like...

Basically, they all come down to teaching people to calm their nervous system when triggered so they don't overreact all the time, teaching them skills to recognize issues or the truth about something ..if they never learned ...and healing the past trauma wounds by addressing the incorrect and unhelpful thoughts they have stuck around them such as (It was my fault he abused me.) Which one I chose is based on the age of the person and what would best fit their personality and style.

moreRelevantBacon161 karma

Does talk therapy help with trauma?

Have seen my partner see psychologists for 10 years and I haven't seen any improvement.

Worse when she is doing well her psychologist supports her going off anti depressants which usually leads to her losing her job and falling out with family.

Is their any evidence of talk base therapy working ?

Resilience-7147 karma

It depends on the level of trauma and the nature of the talking. I find that Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) which is more "talking based" but very structured around trauma, does work well. But I am not just talking about "anything." We have a very structured and exact list of things we talk about and a structured way we do it. It sounds like your partner may have more than just trauma going on, however, which may complicate the picture.

LaraMCroft51 karma

Psychotherapist in training here: from a scientific point of view a Trauma-focused psychotherapy is considered the gold standard when it comes to treating ptsd. Especially studies focusing on trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing [EMDR] showed high evidence. This is however limited to patients whose main symptoms are linked to the trauma.

—> see NICE guideline, APA guideline: both guideline are referring to studies about this topic. A good place considering scientific literature would be this meta-analysis:

Bisson JI, Ehlers A, Matthews R, Pilling S, Richards D, Turner S. Psychological treatments for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry. 2007;190(2):97–104.

HRapproved12 karma

OK to ask a follow up question on EMDR? What is the effectiveness of repeated EMDR therapy session based on continued trauma? What is the potential for using(misusing?) EMDR as temporary relief, as opposed to a more permanent solution of avoiding the trauma-inducing environment(s)?

UnicornPanties16 karma

Not a therapist but I've always been under the impression EMDR is to recover from a past trauma, not for managing an ongoing situation.

EMDR is a way to put something behind you and lessen the pain of it remaining in your mind. If it is a continuing experience then EMDR wouldn't really be helpful.

Resilience-712 karma

I have also used it for a situation one is about to walk into...such as going to do your separation paperwork and being anxious about it.

SidestepToYourLeft141 karma

What can we do as a society to help improve understanding of PTSD and to support people who are suffering? I am thinking particularly about:

  • portrayal in popular media, where the vast majority of depictions of PTSD relate to combat and involve flashbacks. Trauma can come from a wider range of sources but many people seem to think that PTSD only affects veterans and primarily consists of flashbacks, with few other causes and symptoms being recognized.

  • the human/societal urge to downplay trauma, including PTSD sufferers not seeking help because they think their trauma wasn’t “bad enough” compared to others, or conversely when people open up about their trauma but are told that “it wasn’t that bad”.

Resilience-7147 karma

Sounds like you are really thinking about being an advocate for this.. good for you.

Normalize it in all ways. Show the different ways it can impact people and what it can look like in different ages, cultures, and situations.

Screen for it in doctors' offices and then educate people and families.

Make it culturally acceptable to seek help and information just like you would seek help for a physical issue like an infection.

Normalize the idea that you don't have to have full PTSD to still be struggling with the impact of trauma and it's ok to get help for trauma that isn't at the PTSD level.

tiddlythom1136 karma

How can I best support my partner who is experiencing trauma?

Basically, I’ve never experienced trauma before and my partner has. I find it hard to relate and am not sure how to help. I keep asking but even they don’t know. Anything would be great.

The answer could be either short term help (the trauma is very recent) or longer term (1-3 years down the line, this one is my situation but I think both would be helpful)

Resilience-7282 karma

When someone has been through something traumatic they often have an open "wound." When this wound is touched (even accidentally) they can react protectively. This can look different for each person but often can look like shutting down, being anxious, being angry, avoiding things, etc. When you notice your partner is acting out of character or proportion for a situation just be there and be supportive. Give them space and time to calm down, then ask them sincerely and without judgement what triggered them, how you can help at the moment in the future, and reassure them you are there to help. Be willing to "change" tactics until you find the ones that work, and be supportive if they need time, space, and therapy. Above all don't take it personally.

saalsa_shark35 karma

My partner had recently started breaking down into tears when we have sex. I’ve been very clear with consent before and during but it often still happen. We immediately stop and I comfort her as much as I can. She says she’s fine and that there’s nothing to address. How can I help her help herself?

Edit: She’s also adamant she’s never experienced sexual trauma in the past and I don’t want to make this about myself but it makes me feel like a sexual predator so I’ve given up on initiating intimacy

Resilience-730 karma

Is she open to counseling? Individual and/or couples with someone who knows a bit about sexual stuff may be helpful.

Malcolmpargin106 karma

Can a person actually heal from trauma or is it something people must learn to accept and live with?

Resilience-7236 karma

You can heal from it, yes, but it still happened so it is like healing from a physical still have the just doesn't hurt you to touch it anymore.

3opossummoon61 karma

Thanks for doing this! I'm recovering from a traumatic medical emergency and so far the thing that's been most helpful is actually psilocybin. Before trying it in a safe environment I never imagined I'd make so much progress on my healing in such a short time. My flashbacks have gone from several times a week to maybe once a month.

How do you think clinical use of hallucinogens or ketamine (which I already see being integrated into many reputable practices as a tool they offer) will change the way we look at treating trauma?

Resilience-749 karma

Good question, unfortunately, I don't feel like I have enough information to weigh in on this one.

Indigo_Sunset61 karma

Any recommendations for chronic trauma (where the incidence and subject remained in a inextricable long term state)?

Resilience-753 karma

Yes, the trauma modalities I use will definitely work with those situations too. These types of traumas can be treated as "chunks" rather than individual memories.

whk199260 karma

How do you decide when to report a possible crime to the police vs maintain the trust between you and your patients when your patients reveal something illegal (things happened to them)?

Resilience-798 karma

So this can be somewhat location and law-dependent but where I practice I am legally obligated to report situations where there is a danger to self (i.e. suicide) and others (i.e. child abuse, elder abuse, a real threat to cause harm to someone, etc.). The idea is that we want to keep everyone safe until their mental health stabilizes. If someone shares that they are in a domestic violence situation for example....I would encourage them to seek help, but as long as a vulnerable person (i.e. child, elder adult, disabled adult, etc.) wasn't at risk, etc. I would generally keep their confidence. I.E. I follow the law in my area about confidentiality.

mistereverb52 karma

What’re the long term effects of trauma? Professional treatment didn’t work for me. Neither did religion. That was 20 years ago. Now I fear I’m going to unknowingly mess up my young kids. Any thoughts as to what I should watch out for?

Resilience-733 karma

That is a good but very wide-ranging question as it can be very situation and personality-dependent. So what I can say is that trauma can impact our long-term physical and emotional health and there is some research showing that this can be at the epigenetic level (which can be passed on to your kids genetically) However, messing up your kids is not a guarantee. If you are concerned with some things you are doing or not doing which feels like it may be "more" than the normal mom mess-ups then perhaps it is time to seek a little counseling again just to check-in.

Resilience-749 karma

Such great questions and such a hot topic. Need to take a break to see some clients.. will get back to answering these as soon as I can.

CMUpewpewpew37 karma

Since a lot of attachment theory styles are based on unprocessed trauma and how the individual learned to cope (I.E. dismissive avoidant or a fearful avoidant) you put much stock in attachment theory when it serves as a foundational framework for examining your relationships with others?

Resilience-730 karma

yes, I do. There is a lot of good stuff there and while that is more difficult to treat than a clear-cut "trauma" like a car accident, there is definitely hope if this describes your situation. Seek someone who works well with this issue as it is a more specialized type of work.

Lemonlamps36 karma

What is an effective way to "release" trauma stuck in the body?

Resilience-745 karma

One way that that can happen in EMDR is by processing the trauma it is associated with. It is not uncommon to have physical sensations with doing EMDR (i.e. headache, feeling like you are short of breath, etc.) There are a few other modalities that are more body-focused, but to date, there haven't been enough studies for them to be able to claim to be strongly empirically supported (i.e. their research still ongoing).

BonkerHonkers31 karma

Cancer survivor here dealing with medical trauma. I've been doing CBT for a couple of years, but I don't feel like I'm getting as much out of it as I can. The biggest hang up I believe I have is being unable to believe the corrections I'm instructed to apply to my distortions. Do you have any advice to help "lean into" those corrections and allow one's self to believe in the corrections?

Resilience-730 karma

Not being in the room with you and your therapist I am not sure of the exact techniques being applied...but you may be finding that you would be better suited to a different strategy such as EMDR which is less talking and more bottom-up processing. It's worth an honest discussion with your therapist.

Lawlz_4Dayz24 karma

My Dad says he has PTSD from his childhood trauma.

I used to not believe him when I was younger cause I assumed only soldiers and vets could have PTSD.

He had a father that was both neglectful and emotionally abusive in constantly trying to tear his confidence down.

Is it possible to have PTSD under such circumstances?

Also I unexpectantly fired an Airsoft gun in his room and he seemed to go into a panick, but was never in the military.

Resilience-773 karma

PTSD is not confined to soldiers and veterans. Children can absolutely meet the criteria for PTSD from their trauma, a domestic violence survivor can meet the criteria, a survivor of a car accident can meet the criteria, etc. It is quite possible your father had it too.

sundubu723 karma

How do you treat trauma that happened to a person as an infant, so they have no memories?

Resilience-730 karma

Well, it depends on the modality used....but in EMDR I have them think of an image that comes to mind when they reflect on it (even its makeup in their own imaginations). Other modalities use slightly different techniques.

seahorsesunflower22 karma

I have a weird question… I was wondering if having surgery qualifies as trauma? Nothing went wrong during my surgery and I’m glad I had the procedure done. It’s been four months since my surgery and I’m fully recovered physically.

However sometimes I wake up thinking about being wheeled into the operating room, or waking up from the anesthesia, or how gnarly my incision looked at first, and it’s like I get this horrible feeling that I can’t shake for hours.

Resilience-721 karma

Yes, surgery can be a trauma...even it is not at the PTSD level. Therapy designed for trauma like EMDR could work well for you to clear that up.

mercurydawn21 karma

When a person is bullied or abused, how do you help them deal with their sense of rage? Are they just doomed to be angry forever? Especially if their abuser never faces any justice or comeuppance for their actions?

Resilience-720 karma

No, you are not doomed to be angry forever. This is unresolved trauma. You can do the trauma work and let that anger go...even if the abuser never faces justice.

Cinnabunnyturtle20 karma

Is it worth it to work on trauma that is time specific?

For background: my first pregnancy ended with a very traumatic birth. Basically I was induced, got hyperfrequent contractions, towards the end the doctor pushed on my stomach to get baby out but that resulted in uterine rupture and ultimately the death of my child (and almost myself as well.) I am now pregnant with my third child and I cannot stand anybody touching my stomach. It’s not even a conscious thought, the reaction is involuntary and can be severe. I know I will have to go through doctors touching my stomach after my baby’s birth but after that it won’t matter so I am not sure if I should do anything to work on this. Are there downsides to just suffer through it instead of working on this?

Resilience-723 karma

It sounds like working through this trauma could be essential for you right now. Yes, trauma work can be hard and I generally like to avoid stressing a pregnant mom...but being traumatized while giving birth could possibly be dangerous if it spikes your vitals, etc.

onegreatbroad18 karma

My son experienced a trauma second hand (extremely violent assault in the apartment below him for which he called 911 and will be called to grand jury.) He is understandably if unreasonably afraid of his own apartment now. What would you suggest? Suspect already out on bail.

Resilience-724 karma

Well, counseling is definitely an option. Depending on where you are at Victim's Witness may be an option to pay for it. As far as fearing his the risk real? This may be a legitimate reaction.

beowulf50c17 karma

Have you ever any of the ideas proposed by Sebastian Junger in his book Tribe? He makes the argument that a great deal of the trauma experienced by soldiers (especially those who never saw combat or injury) is likely due to the jolt of leaving behind a communal, cooperative society such as life on base and returning to a fragmented, isolated society like we have today. Do you have any thoughts or knowledge on this?

Resilience-78 karma

I haven't read that book, but the idea as you describe it has merit..yes. Transitions like this can be very difficult if you are not prepared for them with other supports and the loss is real and quite traumatic for many.

dgunn1123513 karma

I recently read that therapy for PTSD that focuses on reliving past trauma - in a supportive or otherwise professional environment - is harmful and should be avoided. Would you agree or is the position more nuranced?

THank you

Resilience-725 karma

I think that when done correctly working through a memory of past trauma can allow for great it allows you to identify the incorrect thoughts, etc you have associated with it and replace them with much more helpful and accurate ones.

canada9012 karma

I'm a medical nurse who has been caring for COVID patients for the last year+. My coworkers (physicians, nurses, aides, adjacent staff, etc.) and I work hard, are resilient, and have great communication and teamwork. I'm concerned about our collective exhaustion and trauma of many, many patients dying to COVID over this last year (both in our hospital and in care homes all over the city). We are a very connected community. Are there clinically indicated methods to use as a group while processing our trauma and supporting each other?

Resilience-711 karma

Yes, there are group versions of CPT and EMDR that could be done with you all over specific things.

w00ten11 karma

Is there a anything you can share about Post Traumatic Grief? Mainly long term strategies to maintain progress and tackle those last pesky issues.

I lost the mother of my kids to an overdose(drug abuse linked to Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychosis) a little under 3 years ago. I really struggled with "emotional flashbacks"(the worst crying jags, hours and hours with time loss), nearly dissociative mind wandering where I'd say things and know what I said but don't remember saying it(like calling my new girlfriend at that time the wrong name - she forgave me), auditory and visual hallucinations(see and hear her everywhere), dreams(nightmares) about finding her and losing her again. I was a complete wreck for over a year and while I've made huge strides in overcoming a lot of the day to day issues, I still have problems with certain triggers and dreams.

I'm extremely financially limited. Free group bereavement help and some community funded free counseling helped a lot but seem to have lost their edge to mop up the rest of the mess. Looking for anything insightful, helpful strategies to maintain progress, techniques for further healing or resources where I could learn such things. Thank you in advance. This thread has been fascinating so far. I hope you have a wonderful morning/afternoon/evening wherever you are.

Resilience-78 karma

This sounds a bit too complicated for a rote answer. I wouldn't want to minimize what you experienced with the typical list of responses. I am really sorry you had to go through that. I think you need to work with someone who can learn what you have tried and worked or didn't and then do some additional trauma work. is a place where you can find some individual help. I would also reach out to see if trauma therapists near you (or over teletherapy in your state) are doing any "free" slots for people who need them. Many do.

DefsNotYourGurl10 karma

What misconception would you like to clear about your job?

Resilience-739 karma

I don't have a magic wand and I cannot read minds... as much as I wish I could... actually the super power I most want to have is teleportation. Imagine the vacations you could take.

PTSD--throwaway8 karma

Hey! Couple questions for you:

—I did prolonged exposure therapy after surviving an attempted homicide. It worked (really) well for me. How do you interact with exposure modalities? Are there any factors that make you more or less likely to embrace them?

—What is your view on the literature around post-traumatic growth? One thing I struggle with is people assuming that my shooting “ruined my life.” I often describe it as the “most profound” day of my life, because calling it the worst day—while 100% true—undersells all the good things I have created or gained from it. I found that my therapist did a good job of allowing space for me to both grieve and grow from the situation, but I don’t always see that space being given to other trauma survivors. Welcome your thoughts.

Resilience-78 karma

I do not personally do the exposure method, but it is a good one and empirically supported (research shows it works). What works for each person is very individualized. Some people would not be able to do that method based on their own temperament, etc. I am really glad that method worked for you.

I fully embrace post-traumatic growth. I think that once we process trauma in a positive and healthy way we can let go of years of negative beliefs and behaviors which were holding us back and embrace a new way of doing life. Will you have the scar? Yes. Can you point to that scar and show others how you overcame and they can too? Can you refuse to engage in behaviors that were toxic again because you learned something? Of course. You have much to share with others now. You can show them it's possible for them too because you can speak to their experience from truth in a way that someone who didn't experience that same pain cannot.

OldGuyzRewl8 karma

Could a terrible (lots of blood and injury) accident that happened sixty years ago still cause PTSD?

Resilience-77 karma

Yes or even a lesser form of "trauma" which may not meet full PTSD criteria but could still be helped by therapy such as EMDR or CBT.

jameslaurence828 karma


Is it possible to have experienced trauma, and have no recollection of your entire life? At 40 years old I have no memory of my childhood, the teenage years and only bits and pieces of my 20s and 30s. Also recently diagnosed with ASD and ADHD so not sure if that plays a role in it also.


Resilience-77 karma

Theoretically, but I would want to rule out other "reasons" first.

Mockingtay8 karma

I experienced a bit of trauma throughout my life but I think the biggest was my mom dying when I was 13. Since then, I'm 31 btw, I feel like I'm almost stuck inside that 13 year old trauma sometimes. Then again at 19 I had a major trauma and I feel like though I have worked through a lot of the issues around it I feel like I still get stuck sometimes in the mental or emotional age of the time of trauma. Also, some of my more prominent memories are still freshest around those times and other, even greatly significant things, often take the back burner to these often insignificant memories and situations.

Have you found that there is a correlation between your mental age, emotional age, memory age and the various ages in which trauma occurred?

Resilience-74 karma

I think that sometimes we can regress emotionally back to the time the trauma occurred and react like that inner child (for example) when triggered. This is especially true if there are attachment issues. If substance use then became an issue then some have said you "freeze" at that age in your emotional development until you stop using.

cstrike27 karma


Resilience-77 karma

really gotten is some grounding techniques that help marginally in the moment. I have bipolar disorder which developed as a child, and I’ve read some studies connecting the disorder to dissociative experiences, but I know it’s still pretty unusual. My specific symptoms are mainly dissociative amnesia and derealization. Going on autopilot and forgetting really simple things about myself going on around me, like my age or where I am. It affects my ability to socialize a lot bc I can’t really snap out of it and be present for conversations, and sometimes I autopilot into bad choices.

While I am very familiar with "dissociation" as it occurs from trauma I am less familiar with what you describe. I have had a few clients similar to what you are describing..minus the LSD part..whom I have enjoyed working with, I by no means claim to be an expert in this area. I mostly focus on managing the stressors which trigger it and grounding techniques you and those around you can use to help keep you present. Here are two online resources I found which may give you a bit more insight and ideas.

beowulf50c7 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! Trauma is just one of those things most people have experience with to some degree, but so few actually know anything about it or how it works. I appreciate you working to educate people!

My question is what do you think about the developments in treatment involving psychedelic drugs? The stories I’ve heard about their effectiveness in treating things like combat-induced PTSD have been astonishing. Do you think something like psychedelic-assisted therapy could be the closest we can get to a one-size-suits-all approach?

Resilience-77 karma

I don't feel like I have the knowledge to speak clearly on this subject but I would be surprised to find a one sized fits all answer out there. Just look at those one size fits all clothes (oh the horror).

Pennywise-Is-All7 karma

Can you define trauma? Is it definable? I’ve been told before that just because you can’t identify the trauma, ie abuse or neglect etc, it doesn’t mean traum doesn’t exist.

Resilience-712 karma

That is a good question but hard to define. I think of trauma as Big T trauma (i.e. assault, abuse, etc.) and little "t" trauma (that time all your friends laughed at your joke in a "bad way" and now you never tell jokes again because you will never risk being mocked like that again). Trauma is something that happens to you...but it doesn't always stick with you after the initial normal reaction. Toxic trauma is the event that you cannot let go of and that impacts your behavior today in an unhealthy way today.

ralphlaurenbrah6 karma

What’s the best way to prevent becoming traumatized as a healthcare professional? I work in anesthesia and my day to day job alone is potentially life and death every moment of every day and it really affects me honestly. Also I see horrible things and have a massive amount of trauma just from the responsibility of feeling like I have to be perfect because any single mistake I make could easily kill someone.

Resilience-74 karma

Self-care is critical. Make sure you have a really good toolbox for these things (deep breathing, yoga, etc.). Have a therapist you have a relationship with you can see when needed (like a good PCP you see when you have a medical issue and need a test or prescription to treat it). Therapy doesn't have to be "weekly." If you have a therapist you see as needed then they "know you" and you don't have to spend a long time telling them it all. You can jump into processing what you saw. Watch your thoughts. Feelings are normal. The things that tend to "get stuck" in our nervous system and become longer-term traumas are the things tied to unhelpful thoughts such as "it's my fault, I am unsafe, I am powerless). Be aware of signs of secondary trauma and burnout. Take space when you need it.

Eddyzk5 karma

Thanks for this oppertunity.

My is dealing with psychosis following a traumatic event, what could I do to help her? She is on medication and seeing a psychologist but won't let me in on what is going on.

Resilience-710 karma

Be present, supportive, and don't take it personally when she is reacting out of proportion to a situaiton.

fluffybottom5 karma

A lot of people go through extreme trauma but get through it without stressing out or experiencing lingering PTSD. Is there a way to convince people that there’s nothing wrong with the people who deal with trauma regularly and don’t um, “flip their shit”?

I’m one of those people who face trauma constantly, but long ago learned to detach and deal with it (I’m not military or medical). It’s more disturbing that I’m told I need to rage and cry to deal with it than it is to accept the endless situations and deal with them.

Are there words I can say that will get them to understand that I’m fine? No, really.

Resilience-712 karma

Not all traumas cause PTSD or lasting issues. It all depends on how you process it. If your thoughts are accurate and helpful, you have good coping skills to manage your stress, and take breaks when you need to.. then I wouldn't expect PTSD to be a foregone conclusion. The real question is "why" is that person so concerned? Is it their own trauma they are reacting to? Are they noticing something in you that you are not?

DefsNotYourGurl3 karma

Have you at any point experienced trauma? If yes, How did you go about dealing with it? Did you provide therapeutic training sessions for yourself or you went to see another psychologist?

Resilience-720 karma

Yes, I have. I received my own therapy from another psychologist/counselor when I needed it. There is only so much one can do for themselves. A medical doctor needs another doctor to provide them thier surgery right?

nomadruby73 karma

I was neglected/had some trauma in my childhood, and I struggle to feel. Feelings were a joke and we would say “I only have one feeling”. After some sexual abuse from a partner its like I’m watching my life happen from behind myself or a movie screen. I know I love my friends but I don’t feel the feeling. I’ve been in therapy but the nonexistent or watered down feelings haven’t gotten much better. Any recommendations?

Resilience-73 karma

What your describing sounds like a symptom of trauma. I would recommend you think about trauma-specific counseling if you haven't done that yet.

J4nG2 karma

Is is true that everybody suffers from some degree of trauma? (for those occurring in childhood, I've heard them otherwise referred to as ACEs to distinguish them from capital T Trauma that we typically think of)

Is trauma under diagnosed in the general population and are the trauma-related therapies that are more typically thought of as appropriate for vets, first responders, etc. appropriate for traumatic experiences of lower intensity? My understanding as someone who has attended therapy and has made some limited attempts to educate themselves about this is that physiologically our bodies make far fewer distinctions w/r/t how they process trauma than we often do in categorizing it.

Are there any formal classifications available to accurately place and distinguish a "lesser" trauma from another one?

Resilience-76 karma

While I cannot make a universal statement that everyone has trauma ... I think many people do, and you are correct that this kind of trauma can often fall below the capital "T" trauma level. I think that for many of these little "t" traumas the same modalities that treat the large traumas can prove to be very effective in helping people resolve them. If you are asking if there is a diagnosis for smaller traumas like PTSD for the big ones... then yes the DSM 5 and ICD 10 (the list of mental health diagnoses we use) have a variety that may be appropriate to use. The fact that we have names for them just goes to show that they are significant and appropriate for treatment.

insaneintheblain2 karma

Are you a psychologist or a psychotherapist?

Resilience-711 karma


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Resilience-79 karma

Ahh, good question. I think that we need to understand that our mental health impacts almost every aspect of our lives. From our overall health to the overall health of our families and children. Research shows that the worse someone's mental health the worse the overall outcomes are for them health-wise, etc. Unfortunately, this can also be passed on generationally. A depressed or traumatized parent is a huge risk factor for a child...for example.