"Trauma survivors have symptoms instead of memories."
~ Harvey (1990)
Are you experiencing any of the following? You may have trauma.
Most of the clients I work with are trauma survivors.
Trauma symptoms include depression, irritability, loss of interest, numbing, decreased concentration, insomnia, emotional overwhelm, loss of a sense of future, hopelessness, toxic shame, worthlessness, little or no memories, nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, mistrust, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, chronic pain, headaches, lack of boundaries, vulnerable for re-victimization, guilt, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm or out of body feelings.
(adapted from Bremner and Marmer, 1998; Janina Fisher, 2007)
Trauma can have a severe impact on your life
People with trauma may have difficulty functioning in any number of areas - including maintaining relationships, studying or holding a steady job.
If they have children, they may not be fully available as a parent.
If they are in a relationship, their partners may be burdened by taking care of them or worrying about them.
In many cases they over-react to present circumstances as if they are going through past trauma. They may also have psychosomatic ailments, chronic pain that doctors have difficulty explaining or curing.
Wondering if your partner, friend or family member may be suffering from trauma?
If your friend or a family member was suffering from trauma, he or she may over-react to situations due to hyper-vigilance - feeling emotionally overwhelmed, defensive, angry, with racing thoughts.
Alternately, they may under-react to situations dues to hypo-vigilance - feeling numb, “dead” passive, no feelings, no energy, disconnected, shut down.
They may have flashbacks, insomnia or live in the past rather than in the present.
There is hope! Counselling can help.
I use a variety of therapeutic techniques designed to help people process their experiences without re-traumatizing them.
Learn more: Is Counselling Right for You?