How to overcome medical trauma

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METERmedical trauma It is defined as the psychological or physiological response to a traumatic experience in a medical setting. Some of the Reasons people develop medical trauma may include going through a frightening or painful experience, such as a complicated delivery or major illness; experiencing medical negligence, such as botched surgery or harmful treatment; or being fired or put down while seeking medical attention watch out.

“Any kind of medical procedure would have the potential to traumatize if you didn’t know what was going on,” he said. Melissa Goldberg Mintzpsychologist and author of the book Has Your Child Been Traumatized?: How to Know and What to Do to Promote Healing and Recovery. “Pain can be an important element. It can be really scary.”

In her practice, Goldberg-Mintz sees many people who have developed medical trauma due to a complicated birth and children who develop medical trauma because they don’t know what’s going on. “When they are that young, we try to explain and prepare them as best we can, but when they are young, it can be hard to understand,” Goldberg-Mintz said.

Trauma can develop after an adverse event.

Trauma can develop after an adverse event.. “Things can happen very, very quickly, and they can be scary and painful,” Goldberg-Mintz said. For many people, it is the feeling of losing control, combined with fear and pain, that is so frightening. However, while trauma can develop after such an event, this is not always the case.

Instead, in those first weeks after the event, it iss normal to have a wide range of emotions about what happened, such as fear, sadness, or anger “In the early stages, what I hear most is that it feels very surreal, but not in a good way,” said Jennifer Kowalski, a licensed professional counselor in thrive. “There is a very distinct ‘before and after’ the event, where life has essentially changed forever.”

In the weeks after the event, there are often a period when the body and brain are adjusting. “You may have to deal with that a little bit over time,” Kowalski said. “Your brain has this tremendous way of coping, where it hides it a little bit. Your body may be experiencing, you may be crying, shaking, but you are not grasping the reality of the situation. Little by little, it begins to leak. Those are the early stages and that’s where it really needs to be dealt with.”

The problem is when these emotions persist and begin to interfere with a fulfilling life. “You want to get the help you need in that moment, otherwise you’ll continue to ruminate on it, you’ll get stuck in that moment and you won’t necessarily be able to process what happened. Kowalsky said.

Avoidance is part of the response to trauma.

Part of the response to trauma is avoidance. “It is the natural response of your body, which wants to keep you safeGoldberg-Mintz said. In the context of medical trauma, this can be complicated, as going to the doctor is not an everyday event, while routine preventative care is avoided. can have a long-term negative effect. “It’s much easier to avoid medical situations,” Goldberg-Mintz said.

When it comes to evasion, the main strategy to deal with such fears is graded exposure therapy, where a person finds ways to gradually confront those fears. fears in a controlled environment.

“They need to feel challenged, but safe,” Kowalski said. For example, this could take the form of driving to the doctor’s office and parking, sitting in the waiting room, or making a telehealth appointment. Other strategies include talking about various scenarios that might come up in the doctor’s office. and devise coping strategies, such as practicing deep breathing while receiving an injection.

It also helps recruit a trusted family member or friend. that can help you navigate these situations. “If something is scary or goes wrong, it may be someone who can be more objective and stand up for you in that situation,” Goldberg-Mintz said.

When to seek therapy

For people who have experienced medical trauma, it can be helpful to talk about your experience. For some people, talking to a trusted family member or friend may be enough; For others, they may need to seek professional help. “When it gets to a point where it seriously affects your life, that’s when it really qualifies as PTSD,” Goldberg-Mintz said.

In terms of therapy, some of the most common ways to treat PTSD include graded exposure therapy, EMDR, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Graded exposure therapy it works by exposing a person to a traumatic trigger in a safe and controlled environment. With EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)“They found that when we move our eyes in a certain way, our brains can apply a different way of thinking to traumatic memories,” Kowalski said. In the meantime, cognitive behavioral therapy helps people process and reframe their experiences. “It’s about finding the right way to deal with and process what happened,” Kowalski said.

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