San Jose Behavioral Health helps individuals struggling with trauma build a strong foundation for healing and recovery. Located in the heart of San Jose, our state of the art hospital is the leading provider of mental and behavioral health treatment for adults and adolescents.
Learn More About Trauma Treatment & Recovery at San Jose
Traumatic experiences are unexpected and distressing events that are out of an individual’s control. Traumatic experiences can be emotionally or physically overwhelming and may result in long-lasting anxious feelings. Examples of traumatic experiences include community or family violence, sudden loss, injury, accidents, physical or sexual assault, or even medical emergencies. For an experience to be traumatic, it must result in feelings of terror and a loss of control. In some instances, individuals may experience repeated trauma.
Trauma can change a person’s perspective on life. In many situations, untreated trauma may develop into a trauma- or stressor-related disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Individuals may try to numb themselves or forget traumatic memories through substance use or other risky behaviors. Trauma may cause individuals to seek comfort, fight or run away from real or perceived threats, or experience panic and/or anxiety. If trauma has occurred in an individual’s life, it is very important to seek therapeutic treatment in a safe, comfortable setting.
The following are examples of traumatic experiences:
- Medical emergencies or medical accidents
- Experience as a prisoner of war, or witnessing war
- Witnessing or experiencing abuse or violence at home or in the community
- Experiencing or witnessing a severe automobile accident
- Witnessing a terrorist attack
- Being kidnapped or held hostage
- Being a victim of domestic violence
- Experiencing verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
- Exposure to natural disasters, such as fires, earthquakes or deadly storms
- Experience of imprisonment, kidnapping, rape, sex trafficking, or sexual assault
Trauma has no time limit. Even if a disaster happened long ago, the impact of that trauma may linger for years without proper treatment to help ease the pain. As experts expand their understanding of the impact trauma has on the brain, improved treatment methods increase the ability of individuals to return to a healthier lifestyle, without the distressing symptoms of untreated trauma.
Our treatment center for trauma helps relieve the constant fear and anxiety, and can help an individual to develop healthier coping skills. Even if trauma experiences were severe, hope and healing are possible.
As many as 70% of Americans have experienced a traumatic incident. Five percent of those individuals will eventually have a trauma-related disorder such as PTSD. Cases of rape, sexual assault, physical violence, unexpected death of loved ones, and automobile accidents account for most cases of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of Trauma
Trauma may undermine an individual’s ability to live a satisfying life, but the effects of trauma may not appear until long after the trauma occurred. These traumatic responses may look similar to normal reactions, but as time passes and the trauma response does not change, it would be a good idea to seek treatment.
Reminders of trauma may serve as “triggers” that induce trauma-related reactions. The following are some of the common signs and symptoms of a problem with trauma:
- Pounding heart or shaking hands in response to trauma reminders
- Chronic fatigue or exhaustion
- Muscle and body tension
- Difficulty breathing or hyperventilation
- Problems falling asleep or getting a solid night of sleep
- Strong and immediate startle response
- Body pains and aches or unexplained illnesses
- Using alcohol or drugs to avoid negative thoughts and emotions
- Avoiding previously enjoyable activities
- Acting out with dangerous, risky, or irrational behavior
- Behaving inappropriately in social situations
- Starting conflicts or arguments
- Agitation and restlessness
- Avoiding other people, isolating self
- Reacting compulsively to avoid fears or emotions
- Shame, guilt, or self-blame
- Excessive anxiety, fear or worry
- Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
- Hopelessness or sadness
- Sudden anger, rage, or mood swings
- Poor self-image
- “Out of body” feelings, or depersonalization
- Derealization, or confused thinking
- Disturbing or upsetting dreams
- Powerful intrusive memories
- Flashbacks, or re-experiencing the trauma
- Difficulty staying on task or concentrating
- Forgetfulness of time and place
Effects of Trauma
Trauma requires treatment. A good support network or supportive treatment team can change the entire outcome of an individual’s life. Untreated trauma may result in the following unfortunate experiences:
- Substance abuse, addiction, or dependency on substances
- Illnesses or physical health issues
- Job loss or inability to gain employment
- Financial difficulties
- Development of posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses
- Conflicts within relationships and friendships
- Consequences due to anger or impulsive decisions
- Illnesses or physical problems
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicidal ideation or suicide attempts
When ignoring or forgetting a traumatic experience is impossible, counseling and therapeutic support can make a big difference. The likelihood of co-occuring disorders increases when an individual has experienced trauma. Pre-existing mental health conditions can worsen due to trauma, as well.
Some mental health disorders that occur alongside trauma symptoms include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Why Consider Trauma Treatment at San Jose Hospital in San Jose, CA
Traumatic experiences can hijack an individual’s life. Many people walk away from trauma with feelings of sadness, anxiety, loss of control, and occasionally guilt or shame (even if guilt and shame were unwarranted). These emotions may exist all at once, or they may cycle, and they often persist even when the individual knows they are not logical.
Trauma symptoms can impact the happiness that life offers, and they may shade the world in feelings of distrust and wariness. Without supportive treatment, these symptoms will persist, and may result in a lonely and unhappy life. An individual’s quality of life, physical and mental health, and the lives of that individual’s family members will greatly improve with just a little bit of treatment.
Inpatient care is a safe and effective way to begin overcoming trauma. With the help of evidence-based treatments and individualized treatment plans, caring professionals can ease symptoms within weeks. Treatments like cognitive behavior therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), somatic experience therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy can help anyone return to a calmer, more balanced way of life.
It is possible to heal after trauma. Because scientists now understand many of the ways that trauma actually “re-wires” the brain, therapists can now help individuals undo the destructive patterns of terror, and help the individual (comfortably, and at a calm pace) let go of the terrible feelings and thoughts associated with the trauma. Many new treatments are unlike the old psychotherapy of past, and patients do not have to re-live the terror or pain that they once experienced in order to gain real healing.
Because inpatient treatment offers around-the-clock staff, it is a highly effective way to begin healing. No matter how severe a person’s trauma, wellness can be achieved.