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  • hopepsychologyprac

The silent struggle: The prevalence of trauma

As we're explored before, my speciality is trauma. It's an area of mental health I really value working with. Why? Because watching the remarkable transformation people undergo when moving from the concious, and unconcious, effects trauma can have across swathes of their lives is an inspirational journey that I feel privileged to be able to accompany people from all walks of life on.

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Prevalence of trauma

During my career I have worked with people who have experienced trauma from a whole variety of sources, from single incident such as car accidents, child birth, or natural disasters, to chronic events such as warfare, abuse, or medical treatments. So called hidden traumas such as bullying, neglect or microaggressions often come to light; they can accumulate over time and profoundly impact on mental health. For some people, they are very clear that what they experienced was traumatic, but not always. We can believe that events we experienced are "normal", or "not as bad as other people had it", or even "part of the job". What seems to be very common is the belief that there is "something wrong with me", that the person is defective, wrong, or even selfish for feeling the way they do. What often comes up in those early sessions is just how common trauma is.

So how prevalent is trauma? Well, more prevalent than possibly any of us realise. Not only is trauma the result of distressing or disturbing experiences, but socio-economic disparity and historical and culturally harmful events can be contributing, or causal, factors. A significant percentage of the UK population has therefore experienced trauma, influencing mental health and overall quality of life. The influence on mental health is manifold, manifesting as conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Understanding the impact is essential not just for individual growth, but also in developing effective systems and organisations in which all members can thrive. Awareness of trauma creates a compassional society that is able to acknowledge and address the diverse range of challenges people may have to face.

 If you, or someone you know, needs help dealing with the aftermath of trauma, there are many existing resources in the UK working hard to break the silence surrounding trauma, reducing stigma, advocating for resources and systems, and supporting individuals on their journey towards healing and resilience. Some of these highly trained, experienced and qualified people can be found through directories such as Psychology Today or Counselling Directory. Asking for help may seem daunting, but your future self will be thanking you for taking that first step.

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