A traumatic experience can happen to anyone, at any point in their life. You can be walking down a street you walk down every day, but just one day can change the rest of your life. The negative impact associated with a traumatic experience can change who you are, the choices you make, and your future. Having a healthy and large support system behind you after the experience can lessen its effect of it. Don’t be afraid to or hesitate to seek out help. We at Spero Recovery want to help support you and get you the help you need.
What Is a Traumatic Experience?
A dangerous, scary, or shocking event can be deemed a traumatic experience. They come in all shapes and sizes and can affect anyone. Some types of events include:
- Natural disasters
- Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and floods
- Acts of violence
- Assault, murder, mass shootings, domestic and child abuse, and terrorist attacks
- Vehicular accidents
These events can happen at any point in your life. You could walk down the same street every day, but one day you witness a car accident or get mugged. That one day can affect you both physically and mentally.
Physically, you can be harmed during the event which can cause lasting damage or reminders of that day. The extreme emotions you may have felt during the event can cause you to mentally change and lead to mental health conditions.
How Can a Traumatic Experience Affect My Mental Health?
During a traumatic event, you feel extreme emotions and witness or experience unforgettable things. These emotions can alter your brain chemistry at the moment, and even cause a lasting shift in how your brain operates. Some mental health conditions that may surface after a traumatic experience include:
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (Ptsd)
PTSD is the constant feeling of being in fight or flight mode. You may feel anxious and nervous even when you know you are not in danger. It is your body’s way of being prepared for a traumatic event to happen again. Your brain keeps the signal going to keep you ready, even if there is slim to no likelihood of a traumatic experience happening at that moment. Anyone that has experienced a scary or dangerous event can suffer from PTSD.
Some symptoms include:
- Feeling anxious
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Experiencing other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or substance use disorder.
Everyone experiences anxiety in their life, but prolonged periods of it and where it interferes with your daily life means it could be an anxiety disorder. There are a few different kinds: general, panic, social, and phobia disorders. Each can present itself differently but can affect both physical and mental health. Some signs and symptoms of each include:
- Generalized anxiety Disorder
- Headaches, fatigue, restlessness, and sleep difficulties
- Panic Disorder
- Sweating, racing heart rate, chest pain, and feeling out of control.
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Excessive blushing, stomachaches, difficulty maintaining eye contact, and still body language.
- Phobia Disorders
- Irrational fear of something or potentially running into that feared thing. This can cause excessive worrying and feelings of anxiety.
Persistent negative feelings, such as sadness and hopelessness that hinder your ability to perform daily activities. There are different types of depression depending on your symptoms and their occurrence. Some common symptoms of depression are:
- Feeling irritable or worthless.
- No longer wanting to participate in activities you once enjoyed.
- Increased fatigue.
- Isolating yourself.
- Changes in sleep.
- Suicide ideation.
Substance Use Disorder (Sud)
SUD is the uncontrollable and constant urge to consume alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or other illicit drugs. People start using drugs for various reasons, one of which is to cope with things they’ve experienced, and the feelings connected to it. Prolonged use can lead to addiction and further physical and mental health conditions. Some symptoms include:
- Craving the drug daily and for it to bring you the feelings that accompany it.
- Building up a tolerance to the drug.
- Ensuring you have access to the drug at all times.
- Going into debt or committing illegal activities to obtain the drug.
- Inability to stop using, even after multiple attempts to abstain.
- Going through withdrawal when you are unable to use the drug or try to stop.
Spero Recovery Can Help
There is a recovery facility located in Colorado that is effective and affordable, called Spero Recovery. We use grants and donations to lower our costs, which makes us perfect for those that are under and uninsured. Our residential recovery programs are separate for men and women, but both emphasize the importance of community and peer support.
Alumni of the programs return to lead community activities and experiential therapy sessions. These can include things like cooking classes, meditation, hiking, woodworking, and sand volleyball. Having alumni running these sessions provides you the opportunity to connect with someone that has been successful in the program. You also have someone that has shared similar experiences that you can confide in and learn from.
We also use sponsors and peer support groups to give you an extra shoulder to lean on. They help you work through The Twelve Steps and learn how to be the new you in your new sober lifestyle.
If there are other services you may need that we don’t have onsite, we will work with you to either provide online communication for them or offsite. This could include seeing a therapist for cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is used to evaluate your thought processes and beliefs. After evaluating them you can are able to detect the negative and false thoughts and replace them with the truth and more positive ones.
Importance of Support Following a Traumatic Experience
Having a healthy and abundant support system can help you in many different ways, including:
- Be a shoulder for you to lean on.
- Help you get the help you need.
- Act as someone you can talk to when you need to.
Traumatic experiences come in all shapes and sizes, but they can all have a negative impact on your life especially if left unmanaged. These events can lead to a myriad of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. You may think you’re fine, but your mind and body can be shouting the complete opposite. It is important to seek out help to cope with the event and have a healthy support system to lean on. You don’t have to put on a brave face. If you feel like you are struggling to find support after experiencing a traumatic event, reach out to Spero Recovery at (303) 351-7888 for help today.