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Psychological Trauma: Let's talk about it!

Trauma is a frequently used word. Lets expand upon it and provide healthy ways to cope

As defined by, Esther Giller: "Psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions, in which:

* The individual’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed, or

* The individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity. (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995, p. 60)"

Psychological trauma in general is defined as a highly stressful event. I appreciate Esther Giller's specificity, because it touched home. It prompted me to reflect - I wrote several paragraphs on my history and how I empathize. Ultimately, this publishing is not for my venting. Know that my story is the catalyst to continue building

Lets talk about ways to recognize and deal with trauma!

As written by: Esther Giller

Symptoms as Adaptations The traumatic event is over, but the person’s reaction to it is not. The intrusion of the past into the present is one of the main problems confronting the trauma survivor. Often referred to as re-experiencing, this is the key to many of the psychological symptoms and psychiatric disorders that result from traumatic experiences.

The Use of Adaptive Coping Strategies Survivors of repetitive early trauma are likely to instinctively continue to use the same self-protective coping strategies that they employed to shield themselves from psychic harm at the time of the traumatic experience.

Hypervigilance, dissociation, avoidance and numbing are examples of coping strategies that may have been effective at some time, but later interfere with the person’s ability to live the life s/he wants.

It is useful to think of all trauma “symptoms” as adaptations. Symptoms represent the client’s attempt to cope the best way they can with overwhelming feelings. When we see “symptoms” in a trauma survivor, it is always significant to ask ourselves: what purpose does this behavior serve? Every symptom helped a survivor cope at some point in the past and is still in the present — in some way. We humans are incredibly adaptive creatures. Often, if we help the survivor explore how behaviors are an adaptation, we can help them learn to substitute a less problematic behavior.

Developmental Factors Chronic early trauma — starting when the individual’s personality is forming — shapes a child’s (and later adult’s) perceptions and beliefs about everything.

Severe trauma can have a major impact on the course of life. Childhood trauma can cause the disruption of basic developmental tasks. The developmental tasks being learned at the time the trauma happens can help determine what the impact will be. For example, survivors of childhood trauma can have mild to severe deficits in abilities such as:

  1. self-soothing

  2. seeing the world as a safe place

  3. trusting others

  4. organized thinking for decision-making

  5. avoiding exploitation

Disruption of these tasks in childhood can result in adaptive behavior, which may be interpreted in the mental health system as “symptoms.” For example :

  1. disrupted self-soothing can be labeled as agitation

  2. the disrupted ability to see the world as a safe place looks like paranoia

  3. distrust of others can be interepreted as paranoia (even when based on experience)

  4. disruptions in organized thinking for decision-making appears as psychosis

  5. Avoiding/preempting exploitation is called self-sabotage

Self-Care tips for the Trauma informed.

Author: Patricia A Burke

DISCLAIMER: This guide is for the mental health social workers to evaluate their health, while working with clients. I use this as a guide to check myself. I believe, the trauma survivor can use this as a guide for a better mental wellness. Seeking certified medical aid is encouraged.

A Comprehensive Self-Care Plan

A self-care plan should include a self assessment of current coping skills and strategies and the development of a holistic, comprehensive self-care plan that addresses the following four domains:

1. Physical self-care

2. Psychological self-care (includes cognitive/mental aspects) 3. Emotional self-care (includes relational aspects)

4. Spiritual self-care

Activity Guide work sheet

Total-Razzaq's clothing collections utilize this knowledge. We aim to better your behavioral health through education, self care activities and engagement. Each collection's shirt starts a conversation with educational facts, natural self care remedies and by the way, makes you look good. Our shirt product incorporates QR code technology that allows the shirt to be scanned. The scanner will be navigated this and other articles. We want to provide convenient education, while on the go. Imagine your shirt being a conversation starter and getting it scanned for perception changing proof. That is amazing! That is Total-Razzaq's primary method to end the stigma and better a person's behavioral health.


Behavioral Health


Razzaq Kelvin

Founder & Operator



Behavioral Health

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