When you find yourself ambushed by anxiety or laid low by depression that seems to have no cause or cure, an unprocessed trauma is often to blame.
The obvious traumas of wars, fires, floods, school shootings, and terror attacks are all realities of 21st-century life.
Yet without experiencing any of these, you may still be blindsided by trauma.
As a child, you may have experienced the pain of abandonment, neglect or abuse at the hands of those you trusted to protect you. Perhaps you were mercilessly bullied. Maybe you failed in a spectacular way for all your world of family and friends to see.
Trauma may come in the form of a life-changing accident, a life-threatening illness, an agonizing betrayal. It could take the form of a sexual assault. Or being held at gunpoint on a day that began like any other. Any event that fundamentally changes the way you see the world or see yourself in it, may be experienced as a trauma.
Wounds from traumatic experiences may be ignored for years as you get on with your life. Then one day you discover life isn’t working so well anymore. You are constantly disappointing yourself or others. Your job is a burden, your career stagnant. Your relationships are ho-hum or disintegrating. You don’t sleep well and when morning comes you would rather stay under the covers than face the day.
Maybe every little thing triggers explosive anger. Perhaps you constantly second guess yourself or agonize over even the smallest decisions. You feel as if you’ve lost your way.
When you have been traumatized you no longer feel safe in your home, your town, your school, your workplace. If you are constantly waiting ‘for the other shoe to drop’ in various situations, your anxiety may be caused by a previous trauma that taught you the world is a dangerous place and people are not to be trusted. Your rational mind may tell you that your environment and your family and friends are perfectly safe, but your emotional mind just won’t accept it.
What’s to be done?
Learning new ways to manage anxiety or defeat depression can bring relief and medication may prove helpful. When you’ve tried all that and you are still stuck, it is time to dig deeper, to identify and deal with root causes.
It takes courage to open doors you have shut tight, to bring secrets into the light. But daring to take the risk can bring healing, growth, and freedom.
If you’re ready to begin the healing journey call or email today to find someone who will walk with you through the process–with respect and compassion. It won’t be easy but it will be so worth it.
I am a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor with 20 years experience in the field and many more years of life experience. I entered the counseling profession in mid-life after putting in time as a stay-at-home mom, a freelance writer, a journalist, and a United States-based missionary. I love walking alongside those who are seeking to find themselves, heal a relationship, or recover from trauma. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, and hanging out with my grandsons.