Having Post Traumatic Stress symptoms can be very confusing and overwhelming. Most do not realize that they have PTSD until it takes away the little joys of life. Trauma and it's devastating impact on the brain and body is very misunderstood in our culture. The Counselors at Johns Creek and Alpharetta Counseling are trained to help you understand and to help you heal from trauma.
EMDR has become well known to be an extremely affective form of counseling for those who have experienced a trauma or someone feeling overwhelmed with painful emotion. If you are experiencing emotional distress following a reminder or trigger of trauma, EMDR can help! Johns Creek and Alpharetta Counseling is proud to have trained counselors to offer EMDR.
EMDR works by re-processing how your brain perceives "danger" signals and how it responses "overwhelming emotion". The technical version of EMDR is that it works through using bilateral stimulation to reprocess through past painful events that have left you stuck in your life. EMDR allows you to activate your disturbing memory and process it while you either follow the therapist’s fingers with your eyes or by you tapping on your knees or shoulders. By alternating right and left with either your eyes or your hands, both right and left hemispheres of your brain work together to reprocess the memory and store it properly in your brain. We would love to help you using EMDR. We have counselors waiting to talk to you Mon-Fri 9am-5pm to answer any questions and see if EMDR can work for you! Please give us a call or schedule a time for our counselors to call you.
CHILDREN ARE SEEING SCARY CONTENT ONLINE!
In this video, Erica discusses how to have a conversation with your teenager about the viral suicide video that was on TikTok, Facebook, & YouTube. Many teenagers saw the graphic video and Erica outlines how to know if your teen has PTSD symptoms after watching the gruesome video. There are many ways children can be exposed to traumatic videos online and in the world. Erica helps parents learn how you can help your child and help you answer the questions "Does my child need help?" or "Is my teenager ok?"
MOST DO NOT REALIZE THAT THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED A TRAUMA
Many people associate trauma with things like war, natural disasters, and rape. These are examples of traumatic events that can occur; however, trauma encompasses so much more. Trauma is any event or re-occurring event that we are powerless over and causes emotional or physical pain. How one perceives the event and the level of pain caused can determine if someone will have PTSD symptoms. This can look like a car accident, a neglectful or abusive upbringing, or even harmful words from an important person in our lives. Due to this stigma of trauma needing to be a catastrophic event, many people fail to see the after effects from trauma until it has had a major impact on their life.
Trauma changes how the brain perceives your environment. It creates a state of hyperviligence - scanning the environment for something to go wrong. This can be anything from your children getting hurt or to rejection in a relationship. This hyperviligence takes a lot of energy and your attention. Therefore, it results in feeling exhausted, difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, and increased irritability. Symptoms of untreated trauma may be anxious tendencies (sometimes with seemingly no trigger), depressed mood, thoughts of death and dying, or anxiety around losing control. Often times, these symptoms can impede on important relationships and can alter your capacity to be present with your significant other and children.
In intimate relationships (partner and close family), it can create one of two responses: A pursuit of validation that the relationship is okay; or a withdrawal from anything emotionally overwhelming. The impact may not be large in the beginning, but over time it will cause a pattern or cycle of fights without resolution which can be a barrier to connection, ultimately validating your fears.
When parenting children, trauma can impact you in many ways. Two common ways are: First is the same push/pull away described above from your children. Either putting your emotional needs on your child (they are driving me crazy on purpose), or pulling away from their emotional needs (I just can’t handle them). Secondly, it can become difficult when the child is the age you were when the trauma occurred. For example: if your father passed away when you were ten, and your oldest daughter turns ten, and you suddenly find it difficult to focus, you have nightmares, sadness without cause, difficulty being close to your daughter or other family, etc. Either way, your ability to be present with your child in certain situations is impacted.
Discipline is also impacted. Managing children who are acting out is hard enough, but if anything about their behavior is triggering, you can become emotional and unable to redirect their behavior. Your emotional reaction to the trigger decreases your parental effectiveness and can lead to feeling defeated.
Trauma is very treatable, and you do not have to be a slave to your triggers. Our counselors at Johns Creek and Alpharetta Counseling will work with you to not only cope with these difficult symptoms, they can help you fully process and move past the trauma to take your life back! The past cannot be changed, however one can find peace and resolution, so that the future is not dictated by the past. Give us a call to get started!