Is it Trauma?

So often someone will be diagnosed with depression or treated for anxiety and it may be more like trauma. There’s a few types of trauma and lots of reasons they show up, but I think people often think something is ADHD, depression or anxiety and not actually trauma. There’s lots of traumas like medical trauma, developmental trauma and so on and then the impacts of trauma show up acutely (or like quickly after the traumatic experience happened), chronic (longer), or complex (several types and for several times).

Several folks don’t know that they’ve experienced trauma and even several therapists don’t know something is trauma. Before I looked at my own I couldn’t see that someone’s persistent depression was better explained by traumatic experiences than depression. Once therapists are able to look at their own traumas and learn/do trauma recovery then I believe we can help others concerning their wounds too.

So if you’ve been in therapy for years and years and your anxiety or depression have no or little relief you might consider trauma. You might ask your therapist if there are impacts of losing someone or something, experiences of helplessness, or times where you felt in fight/flight/freeze in your life. You might explore whether you picked up on impacts of trauma by being around others experiencing trauma (such as what was known as vicarious trauma). You might even ask your therapist to explore intergenerational trauma or stuff sort of handed to you like being in a household with folks who have been through years of bombing, addictions, or medical traumas.

There are so many ways we can heal trauma so once we spot it that’s a huge part of the work. Once we name it what it is then we are well on our way to compassionate dialogue with ourselves about what’s going on inside. Hey, I’m really proud of you for even reading this far! I feel like dieting and shopping are so much more interesting than where all this stuff starts and how we can start to heal it, but I also know that the power of looking at something and calling it what it is can open a tremendous path to healing.

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