A traumatic experience can hinder your life in a variety of ways. Human beings are actually animals. We may ponder complex matters and engage in lofty conversations, but we are essentially just mammals dressed up in sensible clothing. Like any animal, humans react to danger in primal ways.
The classic paradigm is a “fight or flight” reaction. When someone – or something – threatens you, the natural response is to either defend yourself or flee the situation. The brain registers the imminent threat and triggers a series of chemical reactions within the nervous system. A flood of epinephrine bathes the bloodstream until you are transformed into a warrior or an Olympic sprinter.
Either way, you must survive.
A traumatic experience can come in many forms, but our survival instinct is surprisingly basic. We get scared, we get tough, we get out of there. But once these immediate ramifications of traumatic incidents fade from our reality, there are longer-term residual effects that linger. The ways in which we process trauma are as varied as our psychological landscapes. We may break down, we may rise up, or we may block it out completely.
Take the example of survivors’ guilt. This is a phenomenon in which you endure a near brush with death, only to be plagued by doubt and regret following the incident. When others die in a plane crash, for instance, those who were spared may be clouded by mixed emotions. Feelings of why them and not me or I could have done more to save others can become thunderous and pervasive.
Experiencing trauma can force an individual to either become overly emotional or surprisingly numb. When stimuli arises, some trauma survivors relive their past distress while others shut down and refuse to face reality. This dichotomy is known as emotional dysregulation. It is almost as if trauma from the past is preventing a person from managing their present (and future).
To take back control of your psychological wellbeing, consider confronting the demons of trauma. The questionnaire below is a simple way to assess your response to an incident – or incidents – that may still haunt you.
DISCLAIMER: This test is not intended as a formal diagnostic tool, but rather an indication that you may need help. If the following quiz prompts any vulnerabilities or concerns within you, please contact a trained professional.
Some trauma survivors have difficulty interacting with unfamiliar settings for fear that their surroundings may evoke bad memories or even flashbacks. To alleviate that worry, take a moment to click through a virtual tour of a warm, inviting treatment center. We have all the resources you need to explore your feelings and examine solutions at your own pace.
You can also take a moment to meet our team. The Launch Centers staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to support you as you face whatever obstacles stand in the way of your empowerment.
Lastly, we have streamlined the process of asking for help. It is sometimes the hardest word to say, but it is often the most essential. Help awaits, and it is now just a simple click away.