Experiencing trauma can result in emotional and mental issues. Everyone’s response to traumatic events will differ, as well as the types of traumas that occur. Understanding trauma and how the body reacts is important in the healing process. At Healing Foundations, we offer a variety of treatments for trauma, including acute trauma therapy in Scottsdale. As we explore the topic of acute trauma, we’ll also detail the types of events that can lead to acute trauma and the symptoms.
What is Acute Trauma?
Acute trauma is the type of trauma that is caused by one event. When people experience trauma, it can impact emotional and cognitive development as well as their nervous system.
Besides acute trauma, people can also experience chronic trauma. Unlike acute trauma, chronic trauma refers to repeated traumatic events. 1 Studies have shown that children who are exposed to chronic trauma can be at higher risk of mental health disorders and poor academic achievement.
Examples of Acute Trauma
When people are experiencing acute trauma, they can be responding to several different types of events. Some common examples include: 2
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Terrorist attacks
- Car crashes
- Major injuries
- Natural disaster
- Mass shootings
- Witnesses a medical incident
People can respond to these types of traumas in different ways. They may experience these symptoms immediately, or their responses may be delayed by weeks or months.
Once the trauma symptoms arise and don’t go away within one month or worsen, a person may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a common trauma disorder affecting about 8 million people in the U.S. annually.
Signs of PTSD can include:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Self-Destructive Behaviors
At Healing Foundations, we help people dealing with PTSD and other trauma disorders.
Acute Trauma Symptoms
Once someone begins to show acute trauma symptoms, they can include emotional and physical symptoms. These can include any of the following: 3
- Trouble concentrating
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Reliving the Trauma
When someone experiences trauma and begins to have any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek acute trauma therapy in Scottsdale. If the trauma is more severe, it can include severe dissociation symptoms and continuous distress with no rest.
If someone experiences acute trauma, it can lead to an acute stress disorder. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will experience acute stress. Certain risk factors can put people at more risk of developing an acute stress disorder, such as: 4
- Stressors over the previous six months
- History of mental illness
- Availability of resources post-event
A person with acute stress disorder will experience psychological distress right after the traumatic event. It is usually a temporary condition. Acute stress disorder symptoms can include being in a bad or sad mood, avoiding thoughts, people, or locations associated with the traumatic event, and having an altered sense of reality.
Seeking help can give people the best opportunities to cope and heal from their traumatic experiences. Ignoring the effects of an acute trauma incident can lead to future mental health issues.
Diagnosing Acute Trauma Disorder
A doctor will evaluate a patient who has experienced a traumatic event and discuss any symptoms the person has following the event. A doctor will not only look at the symptoms experienced but also look at whether those symptoms have been impairing normal functions. Suppose there are symptoms present, and they have impacted daily activities. In that case, a doctor may determine that a person suffers from an acute stress disorder due to the traumatic event.
Treating Acute Trauma
There are several different types of treatment for acute trauma. Since each person is responding to a different type of trauma, they may benefit from different types of therapy treatments.
Different therapy benefits for treating acute trauma include cognitive behavioral and cognitive processing therapy. These therapies are done with trained mental health professionals with experience dealing with patients with different traumas.
It’s important to note that traumatic events can lead to changes in the brain and nervous symptoms that can contribute to symptoms. The brain can be taught to heal these wounds through different types of therapies that include:
- Somatic Experiencing
This type of therapy is the process of reprogramming the body’s survival instincts. This can help someone feel a greater sense of safety in their bodies.
This type of therapy focuses on reconnecting the person to their emotions, thoughts, and anything else linked to the trauma in a safe environment. The idea is that by providing stimulation in a safe environment, the person can experience the trauma again in a new context so that the brain can heal properly.
- Parts Work Therapy
Therapists work to help patients deal with the different parts of themselves that the trauma has created. The goal is to bring a sense of wholeness to the person.
When you work with experienced professionals, they can determine the best therapy that will help with a person’s specific traumatic symptoms.
Acute Trauma Therapy in Scottsdale at Healing Foundations
At Healing Foundations, we offer both individual trauma recovery care and intensive outpatient programs as part of our acute trauma therapy in Scottsdale. We offer weekly individual settings and small group therapy sessions. We get to know each of our patients so that we can develop the best treatment plan for them. Our treatment plans differ from patient to patient, so everyone has the best chance for success.
You’ll find that our team is dedicated to giving you the best acute trauma therapy in Scottsdale. Contact Healing Foundations today if you or a loved one has experienced a trauma and needs help with trauma-related symptoms. Our team is ready to help you recover from your traumatic experience.