By Jane Lucas

Everybody has difficult times in their life and some people have to deal with serious traumatic events. Finding a way to rebuild your life after such a difficult period is tough but eventually, things will start to get better. However, psychological trauma has long-term effects that we don’t speak about as often. If you want to look after your health, it’s important that you understand how events in your life could impact you now. These are some of the long-term health effects of psychological trauma. 

Anxiety 

Many people with anxiety have been through psychological trauma in the past but they don’t always make the link. When trauma causes health issues in later life, people don’t tend to register it consciously so they don’t get the right treatment. This usually happens when people are involved in a traumatic event that causes them to go into fight or flight mode. The problem is, their brain sticks in this mode, so they feel constant anxiety without understanding why. There are many ways to manage anxiety, like talking therapies or medication. Many people even find that having a dog alleviates their anxiety. However, working through the trauma is the best way to manage that anxiety. 

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Addiction problems are one of the most common long-term symptoms of trauma. People that struggle to come to terms with traumatic events and deal with their difficult emotions often use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. This is also common in people that suffer from anxiety as a result of their trauma. If you think that you may have a problem, it’s important that you find a drug rehab program and check yourself in right away. When left unchecked, drug and alcohol problems will spiral out of control and lead to a wide range of other physical and mental health problems. 

Cognitive Function 

When your brain is so tied up dealing with trauma, it doesn’t have much room left for other things. That’s why people that have been through severe psychological trauma often have cognitive issues. It’s common for people to have problems with concentration and memory. In some cases, people find it difficult to function in their day to day lives as a result. 

Inflammation Related Health Problems 

People that have severe anxiety experience widespread inflammation throughout the body and this has been linked to a wide range of health issues. Although the effects of long-term inflammation are still yet to be understood, it has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. Some studies even show that inflammation can increase the risk of cancer. If your body perceives a threat, as it does when you feel anxious, it releases white blood cells. But they have nowhere to go because there is no real threat, so they can start attacking the body instead. Understanding the link between trauma, mental health and inflammation is key to improving health. 

Even though you physically leave trauma behind, that doesn’t mean it won’t affect you anymore. If you have been through trauma in the past, you need to be aware of the long-term effects. 

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