Trauma responds to any profoundly distressing or disturbing life event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope with issues. Trauma causes a feeling of unhappiness, diminishes their self-esteem, and cannot feel a full range of emotions or experiences. Trauma causes damage to a person’s mind, eventually leading to long-term negative consequences. Trauma differs from person to person according to their subjective experiences. As such, every person will react to some traumatic event differently. However, some people may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD after exposure to a significant traumatic event. Most people who go through a trauma have reduced coping mechanism that gets better with time and self-care. If the symptoms get worse and span to years, then the person may have PTSD.
Effects of Untreated Trauma
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that happens due to exposure to preceding traumatic events. PTSD can happen to any sex, race, or age and does not discriminate whether the person is rich or poor. Some of the most common causes or sources of PTSD include the following:
- War or military experience
- Violent crimes or physical abuses
- Domestic violence
- Natural disasters
- Childhood neglect or witnessing a death
- Unexpected accidents
- Stressful job experience
These are all examples of traumatic events that can seriously make a person believe they are in danger of losing their life. Experts suggest that these traumatic events can make you prone to several health conditions, including heart attacks, cancer, diabetics, stroke, or obesity. Most of the research and studies refers to trauma point to various childhood events that eventually destroy one’s life in the future. Early childhood trauma is a risk factor for almost everything, from adult depression to PTSD or other physiatrist disorders. If left untreated, trauma can leave a lasting impact on a person’s life. These effects include:
People who suffer from traumatic events may find an escape route through specific behavioral changes. These risky behaviors may include excessive alcohol drinking, smoking, drug use, or overeating to find comfort. Experts say that a traumatized person uses these behaviors as coping mechanisms as most hesitate to seek professional help. An expert in psychedelics for veterans with PTSD or any other traumatic condition explains coping mechanisms to deal with emotional dysregulation. If trauma is left untreated for long, these behavioral changes may change into addictions, resulting in serious rehabilitation.
Physical problems due to untreated trauma go beyond unhealthy habits. Experts believe that our bodies go through direct biological changes when under stress. When you experience something that provokes anxiety, your body immediately responds. Sometimes the adrenaline levels rise, or the heart starts racing. All these are responses when the body primes itself. Someone with a traumatic past has stronger adrenaline surges than those who do not go through any such event. The constant response activation causes wear and tear on the body, starting to become weak with prolonged exposure. Untreated trauma leaves chronic stress that, in turn, causes inflammation in the body associated with various illnesses. Typically, the more exposure to trauma, the worse your health becomes.
Symptoms of Untreated Trauma
When a person experiences a traumatic event, memory gets stored in the brain related to that trauma. If the trauma remains untreated, it results in depressions, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, substance abuse, and other effects like anger or feeling of hopelessness. Besides emotional effects, the body also suffers from various physical damages. All these symptoms can manifest themselves immediately after traumatic events or in years following.
These emotional and physical responses continue until a professional treats trauma with therapy and emotional support. Regardless of the extent, untreated trauma manifests in physical, emotional, psychological, and social issues. Many PTSD patients seek professional help while others turn to alcohol or drug use that becomes more detrimental with time. Untreated trauma and its symptoms do not diminish on its own. Whenever a person perceives an event as traumatic, they should seek help immediately to cope with the stress.
A person experiencing PTSD or untreated trauma may feel the following symptoms:
- Sudden flashbacks of traumatic events that reoccur
- Intense nightmares or upsetting memories
- Insomnia or difficulty in maintaining a sleep routine
- Headaches, muscle tensions, or other physical effects
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Showing signs of anger or sudden irritability
- Suicidal thoughts
- Depression, anxiety, phobias, or panic attacks
Dangers of Untreated Trauma
- Drug use
- Relationship issues
- Poor behavior at the workplace
- Psychedelic disorders
- Attempted suicide
Individuals experiencing trauma usually seek an easy way out by excessive drinking, smoking, or drug use. These coping mechanisms lead to several other illnesses and stress on an already complicated mind and body. Alcohol and drugs only serve as a temporary solution as they experience worse effects once the substance wears off.
Effects of Untreated Trauma on Family
Unstable conditions continue to increase until the person no longer has control over them. When a person succumbs to trauma or PTSD, it affects every aspect of life. Individuals do not have control over their emotions and actions that affect those close to or care for them. The family members are the ones mostly affected due to sudden outbursts of anger. Sometimes friends or even bystanders also become victims of such behaviors. The dangers of such disorders put the life and emotions of anyone in the vicinity in danger. Untreated trauma leaves no control over violent actions or verbal abuses that escalated when a person uses alcohol or drugs. In this situation you should find and get correct addiction treatment in Texas
How Long Untreated Trauma Lasts
According to experts and studies, untreated PTSD usually lasts a very long time, perhaps the remainder of their lives. Depending on the severity, it may fade after some time or find that it increases if encountering reminders of traumatic events.
- A trained therapist can help reframe the events in the past and help you fight against such experiences. Besides treatments, medications can also help to depend on the extent of trauma.
- A person can reach out to family and friends to give them support during traumatizing events.
- Lifestyle changes can help reduce anxiety and stress, i.e., regular exercise, yoga, or meditation help relieve traumatic effects and negative thoughts.
Trauma and PTSD are the existing social and psychiatric issues that often remain neglected. Usually, it remains untreated because a person either refuses to seek help or denies having traumatic effects. Untreated trauma leaves dire consequences, as mentioned above, not only for the person but also for everyone around. Professional therapy and help can reduce these effects and help a person deal with issues to become a productive member of society.