On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, a friend in crisis wonders if she will ever overcome the traumatic events in her life. Quraisha Baig, a clinical psychologist who is based in Pietermaritzburg, joins this episode to unpack trauma and finding healing.
Trauma is to the human mind and spirit what a physical wound is to the flesh, explains Baig. She says that generally speaking, trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event. This can be an event that threatens your life or the life of someone near you, and results in feelings of significant fear or helplessness.
“Trauma is an emotional response to an event that the person perceives as terrible. It can be simpler events for some people and for others it can be more complex,” she says.
Baig is the founder of Psyche Care, a private practice in Pietermaritzburg.
“Immediately after the event the person is in an intense physical state – they can be shocked, they can be in denial, they can feel very disoriented like they don’t know where they are and what is going around them. That is the initial reaction.”
How trauma manifests
Initial reactions to trauma can include exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, confusion, physical arousal, and blunted affect, explains Baig.
Longer-term reactions of trauma also includes having more unpredictable emotions, getting flashbacks and having strange relationships. “These are what we would still consider a normal response to trauma,” she says.
Finding a way out
The good news is that there are very effective ways to cope with and treat the stressful effects of trauma, says Baig.
Some people are able to overcome trauma on their own and find their feet again. “Those people have often had a good grounding in their life, the way they have experienced trauma earlier in their life they were exposed to good coping strategies, they got the right kind of support.”
It is healthy to seek out some form of therapy. “I think even if you are the kind of person who does not require professional help, even one or two sessions with a psychologist can be incredibly useful,” Baig advises.
On this episode Baig will also go into detail on the following:
- Mental disorders that can be triggered by trauma.
- Post traumatic disorder and how to deal.
- Trauma sensitive practices that can ensure your mental safety and well-being.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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