Trauma & Anxiety

Trauma

If you have experienced a particular event, significantly a life-threatening event time that has affected your life you may be suffering from the after effects of trauma (commonly known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD). You may similarly experience trauma symptoms if you have had a string of emotional injuries, which you might not even recall individually, but which have an accumulative, significant effect. Typical experiences that can lead to trauma & anxiety disorders may develop following exposure to any one of a variety of traumatic events that involve actual or threatened death, or serious injury, for example abuse, childhood abuse/sexual abuse, bullying, rape, shooting, or car accident. Witnessing an event rather than directly experiencing it or even just learning about it can be enough for a person to be traumatised, especially if it involves family members or somebody you are close to. This may result in you experiencing a combination of the reactions listed below. I understand that after such an incident it may feel difficult to function for some time and as I specialise in trauma and anxiety counselling, I am able to help you to explore ways to facilitate healing and recovery.

The following are often symptoms of trauma:

  • Flashbacks of an incident or fear of repetition of the traumatic events
  • Disturbed sleep including nightmares or recurring dreams
  • Feeling you are somehow bad or to blame
  • Mood swings, anger or depression
  • Violence or self-harm
  • Difficulties in relating to others or sexual problems
  • Troubling use of drugs or alcohol or other substances to numb the feeling
  • Becoming more reclusive or isolated
  • Feeling out of touch with reality or different from other people
  • Difficulty in adjusting to a change of routine or context

When considering trauma, I am referring to events, or experiences that lie outside the usual scale of experience. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may result from any of the following:

  • A road traffic accident
  • Sexual assault or rape
  • Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse
  • Being involved in a war or armed conflict
  • Involvement in a crime
  • Transport disaster
  • Terrorism event
  • Violence, whether domestic or criminal
  • Bullying at school or work
  • Witnessing a horrific event

Anxiety

I often think of anxiety as the worry condition and it is thoroughly unpleasant. At worst a build-up of anxiety can lead to panic attacks and/or Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Anxiety generally arises from a combination of things that that may include the following:

  • Childhood experiences
  • Current unpleasant experiences
  • Stress
  • Thinking style
  • Lifestyle (habits/diet)
  • Drugs or medication
  • Mental health (if you are depressed you are more prone to anxiety)
  • Physical health (long term illness and/or ongoing pain may make you more prone to anxiety)

Feelings that you might have if you are over anxious:

  • Feeling of unease or worry all the time
  • Unable to focus or get everyday things done
  • Irritability
  • Tearfulness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Too much or too little appetite
  • Feeling sick
  • Heart palpitations

If you recognise any of the above symptoms for trauma and anxiety in yourself rather than ignore your symptoms or hope they will go away the best thing to do is acknowledge and tackle them.

Immediate things you could do:

  • Tackle your sleeping habits
  • Start a healthy eating plan
  • Take a brisk walk for at least half an hour a day
  • Take time out to relax
  • Take up mindfulness or yoga

Support for your trauma & anxiety

I am able to support you towards finding a way to treat and alleviate the symptoms you are facing within a confidential and supportive environment. By talking through your issues with a trauma & anxiety specialist like myself, who is both qualified and independent of the events, you may find a different and more supportive perspective on what you have experienced. I aim to guide you toward an internal resolution and reprocessing of what occurred as well as empower you to carry the experience in a more tolerable way that has less of a negative impact on your future life. I would work with you within one or more of the following approaches: talking therapy, CBT, EMDR.