In this blog series, I am going to go into great detail about EMDR in terms of what it is, who could benefit from it, and the different stages of therapeutic process. In this first blog, I’d like to write about trauma. EMDR can greatly benefit traumatized patients and awaken memories that will allow them to move past those awful experiences, ensuring them a happier life.
Trauma is any event or occurrence that the brain cannot metabolize, preventing people from being able to learn from their experience. Instead, they continue to have negative feelings, and poor beliefs about themselves. Reminders of that event will cause additional pain not including the initial pain that the event caused, making them feel worse. This can often lead to depression, anxiety or substance abuse.
There are many different types of trauma that can exist in numerous forms. Do you think you’ve ever experienced a traumatic event? Trauma is not limited to a formal diagnosis of PTSD, and not everyone who experiences an abnormally awful event will develop PTSD, but perhaps the definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could be helpful. PTSD is the result of exposure to an situation that may involve direct personal experience, or witnessing an event that is not within the realm of expectable daily experience. This can range from physical, sexual and emotional abuse to experiences of war, terrorism, or natural disaster. No matter the experience that triggered it, PTSD is a formal diagnosis including symptoms of:
- Intrusive thoughts such as nightmares and flashbacks
- Avoidance behavior such as psychological amnesia and not wanting to think about accident or participate in previously pleasurable activities
- Hyperarousal such as difficulty falling asleep, irritability, and problems with concentration.
Another condition that people may develop after a traumatic exposure is Acute Stress Disorder. Please read my next blog which will go into much more detail about this other trauma disorder.