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Adult Trauma

We hear much about childhood trauma but little about the trauma that happens in adulthood. It has a lot to do with our perception of what trauma looks like and that is why I had to write this post.

The new research shows that trauma occurring between 18 and 30 years and between 31 to 64 years had the most significant effect on the person's current health. It can cause just as much damage to an older person's health as childhood trauma. And (age 65-74) seem to be affected the most according to the research.

Here are some examples of adult trauma and please remember – trauma is not the bad things that happen to us but what happens inside us, as a result of what happens to us. •community violence (shooting, mugging, burglary, assault, bullying) •domestic or family violence, dating violence •sexual (rape, etc.) or physical abuse •a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood, fire, or earthquake •a serious car accident •sudden unexpected or violent death of someone close (suicide, accident) •serious injury ( surgeries that go wrong, burns, dog attack) •major surgery or life-threatening illness •war or political violence (civil war, terrorism, refugee) •approximately 9% of women experience postpartum post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth. •severe illness (Cancer – Parkinson - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to name but a few. •incarceration within the criminal justice system •homelessness and poverty •parents of those with a powerful addiction.

Here I am, a trauma-informed coach, and I missed one of my own.

At 51, I had surgery that went wrong and spent ten days in ICU. I didn't think there was any trauma because I did talk about it with my mentor and other friends. However, I never released the emotional pain within the body from the near-death experience. Last month I had a massage by an incredible healer, she saw all the scars on my neck from the surgery, and I shared what happened. She asked me if she could do a deep massage on the neck, and of course, I said yes. Ten minutes in, I am feeling all emotional. Then, her fingers hit one area, and I began to cry and could not stop for 10 minutes. On the way back to my car, I immediately recognized how much better I could breathe, and like, hundred pounds lifted off my shoulders, from the release of my pain body. I then realized how much I had minimized (denial) the surgery that went wrong. What a necessary, eye-opening experience that will make me an even better therapist.

Final: just knowing the trauma exists isn’t enough, trauma affects the whole person; mind, body, and spirit therefore recovery also has to take into consideration the person as a whole. This is what I specialize in – helping people reconnect to their true authentic selves. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Paul Noiles and Sharona (my little fur baby)

Citations for the post: "A Descriptive Epidemiology of Lifetime Trauma and the Physical Health Status of Older Adults," Neal Krause, Ph.D., University of Michigan; Benjamin A. Shaw, Ph.D., University of Albany, State University of New York; John Cairney, Ph.D., University of Toronto; Psychology and Aging, Vol. 19, No. 4.


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