Can Psychiatry and Therapy Treat Trauma?
Yes, psychiatry and talk therapy can be very beneficial for people with past trauma.
Psychiatry is a specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating mental health conditions, and they can provide a range of treatments, including medication, to help people manage the symptoms of trauma and other mental health conditions.
Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a type of treatment that involves talking with a mental health professional about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Talk therapy can help people with past trauma by providing them with a safe, supportive space to talk about their experiences and process their emotions. It can also help them develop coping strategies to manage the symptoms of trauma and improve their overall mental wellbeing.
Together, psychiatry and talk therapy can provide patients with a comprehensive approach to treating the effects of trauma. By working with qualified mental health professionals with experience in the treatment of trauma, patients can receive the support and treatment they need to improve their mental health.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is a term that is used to describe a deeply distressing or disturbing experience and often refers to an experience that has had a lasting negative impact on a person’s mental wellbeing. Anyone can experience trauma, regardless of age, gender, or background.
Trauma can include things like physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, violence, serious accidents, or other life-threatening illnesses or injuries. While these events can certainly be traumatic, any experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing can be considered traumatic, even if it may not seem “serious” to others.
One of the biggest misconceptions about trauma is that only serious events, like natural disasters or combat, can be traumatic. Some examples of events that may seem minor to some people but traumatic for others include:
- Losing a job
- Going through a divorce
- Moving to a new city or country
- Being the victim of bullying or harassment
- Losing a loved one or pet
- Experiencing a natural disaster
- Being involved in a car accident
- Undergoing a medical procedure
Does Everyone Have Past Trauma?
Not everyone has experienced trauma, but many people have.
Trauma is a common experience, and it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. Some people may have experienced a single traumatic event, while others may have experienced multiple traumas throughout their lives. It’s important to remember that everyone responds to trauma differently, and what may be traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another.
Our Experienced Team of Psychiatrists Can Help!
We know that taking the first step can be difficult.
Our highly-trained psychiatrists and therapists offer a comprehensive and confidential approach to private, outpatient psychiatric care. Whether this is your first time seeking psychiatric care or if you are seeking a new provider, Novum Psychiatry can help. In-person and telehealth appointments available. We accept health insurance.
What Are The Signs Of Trauma?
Trauma can have a wide range of mental health consequences, and the specific symptoms a person experiences will depend on a number of factors, including the type of trauma they experienced, the severity of the trauma, and their individual response to the trauma. Some common consequences of trauma include:
- Flashbacks, which are vivid, often distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Nightmares or other sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Irritability or anger
- Anxiety or fear
- Depression or sadness
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Dissociation, which is a feeling of detachment from one’s thoughts, feelings, or surroundings
In some cases, trauma can also lead to the development of more severe mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event.
There is a strong link between past trauma and the development of psychiatric disorders. People who have experienced trauma, particularly traumatic events that occurred in childhood, are more likely to develop mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because trauma can cause changes in the brain and other bodily systems that can affect a person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.
A 2021 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows a link between trauma and symptoms of anxiety and PTSD six months later.
Additionally, the psychological distress and coping mechanisms that a person develops in response to trauma can contribute to the development of mental health conditions.
What Are The Physical Symptoms of Past Trauma?
Trauma can have a range of medical and physical health consequences. Some common medical and physical health consequences of trauma include:
Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
Trauma can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and fear.
Trauma can cause sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or nightmares.
Trauma can cause digestive problems, such as changes in appetite, nausea, or stomach pain.
Trauma can cause chronic pain, such as headaches, back pain, or other types of chronic pain.
Immune system changes
Trauma can affect the immune system, which can lead to an increased risk of infection or illness.
One of the biggest misconceptions about trauma is that only serious events, like natural disasters or combat, can be traumatic. In fact, any experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing can be considered traumatic, even if it may not seem “serious” to others. The effects of trauma can linger for weeks, months, or even years after the event.
What Are Some Lifestyle Treatments For Trauma?
Lifestyle treatments for trauma can include things like exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques, as well as more structured interventions like mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Lifestyle treatments can be an effective way to manage the symptoms of trauma, such as anxiety and depression, and can help people to build resilience and improve their overall mental wellbeing. Some examples of lifestyle treatments for trauma include:
Regular physical activity can help to reduce stress and improve mood. It can also help to improve sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to support overall physical and mental health. Some studies have found that people who eat a healthy diet are less likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, a healthy diet can help to improve overall physical health, which can in turn support mental health.
Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help to calm the mind and body, and can be useful for managing symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. It can help to reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing. When a person is caught up in negative thoughts and emotions, mindfulness can help to break this cycle by shifting the person’s focus away from their negative thoughts and emotions and onto the present moment.
CBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It can be an effective treatment for trauma-related conditions like PTSD.
It is important to get treatment for trauma because trauma can have a range of negative effects on mental and physical health. Trauma can cause changes in the brain and other bodily systems that can affect a person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. It can also cause symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be distressing and interfere with a person’s ability to live a fulfilling life.
Professional treatment can provide people with the support and tools they need to heal from trauma and develop coping strategies to manage its effects. Without treatment, the effects of trauma can linger and may even get worse over time.
Our Plainville and Sudbury offices are accepting new patients for in-person and telemedicine appointments for residents of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We also take a wide range of health insurance plans, including Medicare. Request your confidential evaluation today.