As a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of trauma and PTSD, I work with many patients who come into therapy with symptoms such as substance abuse, self harm, relationship problems, and low self-esteem. Sometimes people will come into therapy with an awareness of their past traumas and the impact but others come in with little to no awareness of how trauma has effected them. Trauma can have a massive impact on someone’s mental health, both short-term and long-term. Some common diagnoses someone with a trauma history may be given include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
What are Some of the Symptoms I May Be Experiencing?
- Symptoms of anxiety often include excessive worrying, agitation, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and avoidance.
- Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness, angry outbursts, loss of interest in pleasurable experiences, sleep disturbances, tiredness or lack of energy, weight or appetite changes, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and sometimes thoughts of death or suicide.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Symptoms of PTSD include recurrent unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event, reliving the trauma as if it were happening today, nightmares of the trauma, avoidance of places or activities that remind someone of the trauma, feeling detached from friends or family, feeling emotionally numb, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance, and difficulty sleeping
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Symptoms of BPD include inappropriate or extreme emotional reactions, highly impulsive behaviors, a history of unstable relationships that swing between intense love and idealization to intense hate, intense mood swings, feelings of isolation and emptiness, a persistent fear of abandonment and rejection, and can sometimes include a history of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts
A Day In the Life…
Often when someone has a history of childhood trauma, they may walk around feeling generally unsafe in their body and in the world. When someone is walking around the world and feeling unsafe, it makes sense that they would go to any lengths to regulate their emotions and find some sense of peace and balance. Ideally, every child would be nurtured in a manner where they feel safe to explore their environment and eventually learn to sooth themselves when that is age appropriate. Unfortunately, not everyone has this experience so people may turn to substances, eating disorders, or self harm behaviors in an attempt to regulate emotions.
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder and would like to know more about Shannon’s services, contact her today for a free consultation.
Bio: Shannon McHenry is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialty focus in childhood trauma, rape and battering, and PTSD. She is a trauma therapist in Los Angeles and works with clients in her offices in Los Feliz and Torrance. Combining clinical experience with a passion to support women in repairing their relationships with themselves and others, she has supported many to create a long-lasting recovery from destructive behaviors. Call Shannon today to book your first appointment.