The Relationship Between Trauma and Anxiety: An Anxiety Therapist in Alpena, Michigan Tells All.
It can often be confusing to understand why a situation in which you experienced trauma might lead to anxiety in the present. People don’t always understand that trauma and anxiety can be intertwined, but there is a complex relationship between them. Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing event that can have lasting effects on an individual. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an emotion characterized by feelings of unease and worry. So, how are trauma and anxiety related? What is the connection?
What Role Does Trauma Play in Anxiety Treatment?
When we experience a traumatic event, it can cause changes in our bodies. These range from physical, like increased heart rate, to emotional and mental changes. Our bodies become primed for fight or flight to protect us from future danger. This is where the connection between trauma and anxiety is established.
After experiencing trauma, our bodies often stay in fight or flight mode for long periods of time, leading to feelings of anxiety. This can lead to increased physical and emotional anxiety symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating, feeling on edge or irritable, experiencing racing thoughts, and difficulty sleeping. In fact, anxiety is one of the signs or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Although experiencing trauma can lead to anxiety, it is important to understand that not everyone who experiences trauma will develop an anxiety disorder. Because each person’s body’s response to trauma is different, some may be more or less prone to developing anxiety after a traumatic event. It is also important to note that there are many factors that can contribute to an individual developing anxiety, and trauma is just one of them.
What is PTSD, and How Does it Relate to Anxiety Treatment in Michigan?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. We all react differently to trauma, so it’s normal to experience a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. Some people may develop PTSD, while others may not. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to think, feel, or respond to trauma.
PTSD is characterized by intrusive memories of the traumatic event and difficulty regulating emotions, concentration, and sleep. It can also lead to avoidance of certain activities, thoughts, or places that may remind a person of the traumatic event. Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of PTSD and can manifest in many different ways. It can also have emotional and psychological symptoms such as anger, irritability, mood swings, guilt, or shame.
How Can We Address Trauma-Related Anxiety?
You may think, “what can I do if I have trauma-related anxiety?” Which is a valid and important question. The good news is that there are many ways that you can help yourself to cope, and there are ways a mental health professional, like your therapist, can help you.
The first step to managing trauma-related anxiety is to identify and understand it. This includes understanding what triggers your anxiety and awareness of the physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. By being mindful of your triggers and symptoms, you can begin to build strategies to manage them. For example, if you find that your anxiety is triggered by certain events or situations, being aware of this and taking steps to avoid them can be an excellent way to find ways to manage your anxiety.
The second step is seeking the support of a mental health professional, like a therapist. They can provide personalized and tailored strategies to help manage your anxiety. For example, at Unity Counseling, we use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help individuals address their trauma-related anxiety. Both of these therapies are effective in helping individuals to work through trauma and reduce their symptoms of anxiety.
Engaging in self-care is important in helping yourself cope with trauma-related anxiety. This may include doing things that make you feel relaxed and can help to reduce your stress levels. This doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. It can be as easy as taking a warm bath, listening to calming music, or spending time in nature. It’s essential to find what works for you and make time for self-care as part of your daily routine.
The relationship between trauma and anxiety is complex, and it can be challenging to deal with. Having support and understanding how your body and mind react to trauma can be a helpful first step. If you feel overwhelmed or need more help, don’t hesitate to contact a mental health professional. There is no shame in seeking help and taking steps toward healing.
Begin Trauma Therapy in Michigan
Trauma alone can be a challenging experience to manage, and trauma-related anxiety can make it even more challenging. You deserve support and guidance to work through your trauma-related anxiety and live a healthier, more fulfilling life. Our team of compassionate therapists understands the complexities of trauma and is here to help you work through your symptoms and find healing. That’s why we are happy you are here and we are ready to help. So we can offer you support from our Michigan-based therapy practices in Grand Rapids, MI, Alpena, MI, and we are expanding into other areas!
Follow these simple steps to start!
- Contact Unity Counseling
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Begin your individualized plan for healing!
Other Mental Health Services Offered by our Unity Counseling Therapists in Michigan
Trauma therapy isn’t the only service offered at our MI-based practice. Our therapists understand that life comes with many challenges, and it’s important to have the tools and support you need to stay healthy. That’s why we offer a wide range of mental health services to support clients, including anxiety counseling, depression counseling, and grief counseling. We also offer services, including couples counseling, LGBTQ+ counseling, CBT, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and mindfulness. We understand that making in-person appointments can be difficult, so we are happy to offer online therapy in Michigan. Feel free to learn more by visiting our blog or FAQ today!