Let’s acknowledge the trauma that men endure throughout their lives and how to talk about it so that healing can commence. Here, we will create a working definition for trauma, discuss social barriers to men openly discussing their experiences, and discuss ways to move forward and begin the healing process.
Defining Trauma: Signs and Symptoms
While trauma itself is never simple, it can simply be defined as a troubling or deeply disturbing experience, often including some kind of emotional and/or physical shock and lasting repercussions. There is situational trauma, which can include a car crash or other kinds of traumatic events such as witnessing abuse or murder. There is also chronic trauma, which includes ongoing emotional, mental, and/or physical abuse. Unfortunately, living with trauma is incredibly common, with PTSD United reporting that 70% of the population has experienced at least one traumatic event. A few signs and symptoms that you’re holding onto residual trauma include anxiety, depression, irritability, PTSD symptoms, general fearfulness, and nightmares. Though oftentimes social norms prevent men from coming forward about their troubling experiences, it’s vital that we learn the skills to talk about our traumas and begin to heal.
Socialization: Barriers to Openness
Societally, we still tend to view women as emotionally open and men as the reserved and withholding when it comes to matters of the heart. Men internalize this programming and it can serve as a detrimental barrier to coming forward about trauma. This prevents the healing process and any forward momentum towards change.
How do we move forward after acknowledging traumatic situations and ongoing difficult emotions? It’s important to understand that nothing is wrong with you and it’s not your fault. Traumatic events can often remain in our bodies and minds for years. Practice mindfulness and meditative techniques to get in tune with your body, mind, and emotions. Additionally, try naming your feelings and writing down any plaguing experiences. Seeking professional help for trauma and its symptoms can be extremely helpful and revelatory. EMDR or Trauma-Focused Behavioral Therapy are two options. There is no shame in recognizing and talking about your trauma. In fact, it’s necessary to begin the healing journey.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474