The Journey of Trauma
Trauma effects everyone differently. Some acknowledge it happened and move on while others are stuck with the constant hurt and pain that was inflicted. Mental illness is completely normal after experiencing trauma; if left untreated though it can lead to worsening patterns of behavior. One way of life that could result in developing a mental illness comes from childhood trauma which leads to rebellion during the teen years which leads to substance abuse which then leads to substance dependency. Forcing young adults into therapy rather than the voluntary choice will increase the likelihood of them becoming outstanding members of society.
Trauma comes in many shapes and sizes. Trauma can lead to self-destructive decisions or one-sided friendships. What occurs to us when we are children or as we are transitioning into the real adult world, that hurt and pain follows us and sometimes never dissipate. What exactly leads a person to go to therapy though could be one of many things: either a traumatic abusive childhood, a vehicle accident that permanently scarred someone, overwhelming long periods of stress and the list goes on. Take for example, the child who witnessed their father aggressively beating their mother everyday for as long as they can remember. Every hit, smack and grunt is permanently stuck in that child’s brain and without proper help from professionals this trauma can the reason why this child either never trusts anyone or worse inflicts the same pain to their family in the future. In the ADAA’s article titled: Facts & Statistics, one of the leading causes of anxiety disorders arise from life events to be specific, traumatic life events.
As those who experienced trauma at a young age grow older, violence seems to be the answer to everything. That kid who took your toy train while you were in the bathroom, simply hit them when the teachers not looking because that’s what they were taught. Taught to be silent when it came to abuse. The child believes it to be okay, almost normal. How this trauma would effect the child later in life cannot be described. So many different possibilities that could come out from this abusive childhood experience: many horrible, few pleasant. The result of trauma is most of the time but not always, anxiety and depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the United States effecting an estimated 40 million adults aged 18+.
Society has a way of making those with mental illnesses appear to be bad, some would even go as far as to say dangerous. Going based off the ADAA’s statistics and research, anxiety disorders can be very well treated yet only 37% of those effected receive treatment. While some factors include: not having a therapy center nearby or cost of treatment; most of the time those effected don’t attend because of the stigma and shame they believe comes with having a mental health illness. There is of course nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to having a mental health issue but knowing that there are options out there for treatment and refusing those options simply because one is afraid of what society will think of them should be deemed idiotic.
Untreated anxiety and depression can lead to a life filled with pain, suffering and misery. Imagine hating what you have become from the result of what has happened to you earlier in life. One could place the blame on the perpetrators that caused such ill natured experiences but after a certain age, it becomes the responsibility of those effected to seek out professional help.
In an article written by I.M.J van Beljouw and P.F.M Verhaak, they used information from a study conducted by the Netherlands Study of Anxiety and Depression (NESDA) regarding untreated anxiety disorders among patients. Of those untreated patients: 1/4 of them did not perceive themselves as having a mental problem, another 26% stated no need for care and the remaining 49% expressed a need for care which was not met. These are people who were told they needed professional help and either willingly decided to ignore the diagnoses or simply could not obtain the professional help provided due to factors such as cost and no nearby therapy groups/centers. The study also concluded that the untreated patients with a perceived treatment need expressed higher levels of loneliness and suffered from severe symptoms than the other two control groups which were the treated patients and the untreated patients who did not want therapy.
Various authors came together to write the article titled: Delivering Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Young Adults With Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety Using a Fully Automated Conversational Agent (Woebot): A Randomized Controlled Trial. In said article, it is stated that up to 74% of mental health diagnoses have their first onset before the age of 24. The human brain doesn’t even finish developing until the age of 25 and already almost 3/4 of those who have mental health disorders are experiencing emotions which lead to disastrous decisions which in turn cause the not finished developing brain to damage or stunt growth in development.
Among the young adults who are in college, almost half have said that they have experienced anxiety and depression symptoms so severe that they had difficulty functioning. Imagine being along at college and not being able to do basic necessities for yourself such as cooking, bathing or even getting a good night’s rest. The article, Characteristics and one-year outcome of untreated anxiety and depression written by I.M.J van Beljouw and P.F.M Verhaak utilized information from a study conducted by the Netherlands Study of Anxiety and Depression (NESDA) regarding untreated anxiety disorders among patients. From the study which had a huge patient experimental number of 743 patients, drew the conclusion that 43% of those diagnosed received no form of treatment.
One way to save this traumatized child from a life filled with rage and anger is to be sent to therapy. Not many agree with therapy but it may be the only solution to the problem. Of course, as the children age they will believe nothing is wrong with them but that’s up to the therapist to decide as they are professionally trained in this field of work. Forcing young adults into therapy is the solution to ensure that they are molded into outstanding members of society. It’s been proven that those who go to therapy come out with a better sense of self. Young adults who go into therapy come out rehabilitated and are ready to explore their new found ideologies.
Therapy while not everyone’s first choice has for the most part been successful in rehabilitating those who have experienced upsetting life events. Even if one believes therapy is not the option for them, research shows that for the most part it very well likely could be the answer that they are letting fly over their heads.