Chronic trauma occurs when a person is subject to multiple trauma situations, often as found in combat service, in on-going abusive relationships, or sometimes in situations where a person simply suffers one unrelated trauma after another. Think, for example, of the person who loses family members in a fatal car crash, followed by a cancer diagnosis, loss of a job, or financial hardship. Whether in war or at home, a person who suffers one attack after another (no matter the form) may suffer from chronic trauma.
When it comes to war, we know that military men and women may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Witnessing the loss of peers, seeing the injuries of others and living under constant stressors of deployment and combat can take a toll on those who are at risk for PTSD. But it’s important to note that soldiers aren’t the only people to suffer from this disorder, so sometimes civilians are diagnosed with PTSD, too.
Treating Chronic Trauma
Psychotherapy (also called talk therapy) is often the treatment for dealing with chronic trauma. A good plan of treatment will help you understand what triggers your symptoms, how those symptoms are impacting your life, and the skills needed to cope with the feelings experienced as a result of chronic trauma. In some instances, exposure therapy helps the patient face what happened to them and find ways to face their fears and feelings. Some patients need cognitive restructuring, which is used by those who have difficulty remember exactly what happened to them or somehow feel responsible for the situation. There are a variety of psychotherapies and treatments available and, working one-on-one with your LifeLens counselor, we will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Working with you to identify an effective approach to therapy is what we do best at LifeLens.