Trauma Related Disorders

McLean Counseling Center

What are Trauma Disorders?

Trauma disorders are mental disorders that are related to a traumatic experience or very stressful event. Trauma is subjective, but common examples that may trigger a disorder include abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, losing a loved one, or being in a natural disaster. Trauma disorders cause fear, extreme anxiety, stress, depression, and other negative emotions.

They may even cause nightmares and flashbacks. A trauma disorder also affects a person’s behaviors and may cause anger, violent outbursts, social withdrawal, loss of interest in activities, and many other negative repercussions, such as loss of work and relationships. Trauma disorders are manageable and can be overcome with consistent, professional treatment.

Examples of trauma disorders include:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – a mental health disorder that some people develop after they experience a traumatic event.
  • Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) – a mental health problem that can occur in the first month after a traumatic event. The symptoms of ASD are like PTSD symptoms, but they must occur over the span of more than one month to be considered PTSD.
  • Adjustment Disorder – a short-term condition that happens when a person has great difficulty managing, or adjusting to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event.
  • Childhood Trauma Disorders – a group of emotional and behavioral problems that may result from childhood traumatic and stressful experiences

Treatment for Trauma Disorders

While trauma disorders cause a lot of distress and impairment, they can be treated and managed with help from a mental health professional. Our mental health professionals offer treatment that can help our patients recover, learn to process and cope with the traumatic memories, and begin to live a normal life again.

Treatment for trauma disorders involves trauma-focused psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that focuses on how to change and control triggers, negative emotions, and unhelpful responses has proven helpful for people struggling with trauma disorders. In addition, exposure therapy can be used to help patients cope with their trauma. This involves creating a safe environment in which to “expose” individuals to the things they fear and avoid. The exposure to the feared objects, activities or situations in a safe environment helps reduce fear and decrease avoidance. In addition to psychotherapy, medication is also sometimes helpful for patients with trauma disorders to treat co-occurring anxiety or depression.

Here at the McLean Counseling Center, we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to help you work through past traumas and move towards a brighter future.

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(703) 821-1073

1307 Vincent Place McLean, VA 22101

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