The news of the devestating mine accident in Virginia recently brings into sharp focus how easy it is to have one’s world turned upside down in a second. We are bombarded by tragic news stories of earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, violent crime, abuse, murder and much more. Most people consider those examples of “trauma” and understand the people who experienced them would most likely have mental after-effects from the trauma. Frequently, people who go to counseling session feel as if their own trauma doesn’t “measure up” to what they see in the news, and doesn’t even count as “trauma.” These counselees have the same symptoms of exposure to trauma as perhaps the family, friends, and co-workers of the miners who were recently lost in that tragic mine accident. Sometimes trauma victims do not recognize that their own hurt counts too.
Perhaps you were in a car accident that totaled your car and you continue to hear the sound of shattered glass and smashing metal replay in your head over and over. Perhaps you were the victim of a crime, and although there was no injury, a new, overwhelming fear keeps you shut in at home. Car accidents, crime, abuse; these are all examples of trauma. While they may not seem so great in magnitude as an earthquake, they are valid experiences for the person who lived through it.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please consider seeking professional assistance. Please know you do not have to live with the symptoms of trauma!
* Reliving the incident over and over either in one’s mind or as if it were happening
* Intense fear
* Avoidance of situations or places that remind one of the incident
* Change in one’s usual behavior
* Feelings of intense loss
* Moments of shutting down and perhaps loosing time
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