Mental Health Counseling

Millions of individuals in the United States have suffered physical, sexual, and emotional trauma. According to current studies, the prevalence of violence and abuse is steadily increasing as well. In addition, the lack of familial stability contributes to both the incidents of abuse and the neglect of assisting these individuals in coping with the psychological symptoms that develop as a result of experiencing these forms of abuse and trauma. In these cases it is best to seek Mental Health Counseling.

mental health counseling

Affects of Trauma & Abuse

Recent research has indicated that experiencing prolonged trauma not only affects psychological and physiological health but actually changes the brain’s structure as well. Several types of abnormalities are incurred as a result of undergoing prolonged trauma. The first of these occurs in the brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for regulating emotions and our major drives, such as hunger and sex. As a result of severe abuse and trauma, the left hemisphere of the brain under develops, increasing a reliance on the right hemisphere. The consequence of this is an increase in negative emotions, such as depression, as well as memory problems. Furthermore, the integration of the hemispheres of the brain is impaired contributing to frequent mood and personality shifts.

The human brain is designed to adapt to its environment. Recurrent instances of traumatic events in the developmental period cause the brain to go from a learning brain to a survival brain. Such a brain is in a frequent or constant state of readiness to cope with an impending threat, which is not conducive to learning new experiences. A number of children experience cognitive impairment, deficits in emotional development, and organic brain damage as an effect of abuse. However, many such children are currently misdiagnosed as suffering from ADHD, learning disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The treatments prescribed to address these conditions will, in many cases exacerbate the traumatic symptoms they are experiencing.

Experienced Mental Health Counseling

Adults who have undergone prolonged trauma in their developmental years associated at the hands of a caregiver or ostensibly responsible adult, such as a family member or trusted friend, typically exhibit difficulties in five major areas: difficulty in regulating emotions; somatization of emotions, such as panic attacks, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, etc.; impaired self-development, such as excessive negative, critical beliefs about oneself; and disorganized and disrupted interpersonal relationship patterns. This profile of symptoms is known as Complex PTSD, which differs from PTSD, although, at times, there is some degree of overlap.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is primarily indicated by several prominent types of symptoms: recurrent unwanted recollections of events, such as flashbacks, dreams, or intense emotions related to the traumatic event; persistent avoidance of anything associated with the event through behaviors, such as physical avoidance, emotional numbing, dissociation, or substance abuse; and a state of frequent or constant arousal or hypervigilance.

Seeking Mental Health Counseling

If you or someone you care about suffers from the symptoms related to trauma and abuse or PTSD, call and speak with one of our Mental Health Counseling therapists. These disorders will not remit on their own. You do not need to continue to live with the continued consequences of trauma and abuse. Treatment for these disorders is highly effective and can be life-altering. Please call today!