Understanding The Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Women and Its Resolution

Sanjana* celebrates her birthday with her fiancé and she is delighted as she has been selected in the state service commission as an officer. About two years ago, Sanjana was depressed, suffered from insomnia, fear, panic attacks, excessive thoughts, and had suicidal feelings. She was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and SSRI medication along with psychotherapy was recommended to her. During one of her therapy sessions, she revealed that her father was abusive and an alcoholic. Several years ago, when Sanjana was in school, he got terminated from the police department as he had attacked his senior with a sharp weapon. He would often abuse Sanjana’s mother and hit her badly.

Sanjana’s mother suffered silently without uttering a word or asking for help. She did this because she did not want the neighbours to know that she was being beaten by her husband. She kept suffering silently and was terrified by her husband’s behaviour and never shared her ordeal with anyone. Sanjana also started suppressing her feelings like her mother and would often feel insecure in her own home. All she wanted was a safe place where she and her mother could live peacefully.

Sanjana was an intelligent girl and would often question her own thoughts and get confused. She would have episodes of fear, and the fear of having another panic attack would often overwhelm her. This was followed by a phase of depression, irritability, lack of concentration, excessive negative thoughts, and palpitations, Sleep-disturbance, fatigue, aches & pain in the body, edginess &agitation. She developed extreme anxiety & fear and was withdrawn from her social circle. Many times, she would feel disconnected & numb. She would often dissociate in her class and look lost in her own thoughts.

Trauma can be subtle and is subjective in nature. Small incidents may trigger fear and it is very important to understand these triggers, because of the hyper arousal, the individual becomes hyper vigilant and suspicious. Small things or incidents may generate an intense fear and cause a lot of muscle tension and other psychosomatic problems.

The individual has to learn to self-regulate her emotions and release this trauma which is withheld in the body. Animals can very easily shake off this frozen trauma from their nervous system. Humans on the other hand, especially women have a weak nervous system because of their anatomy and can easily get triggered to a state of hyper-arousal which may lead to a state of severe panic and anxiety.

Post Stress Traumatic Injury is very common in our society however most of the women who suffer from it remain undiagnosed and suffer silently. There are several somatic therapies, better than the talk therapy and can provide a fast relief. Deep Breathing/Breathwork, Pranayam, Hypnotherapy, mediation & positive affirmations, Body Talk, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR( Eye Movement Desensitisation, and Reprocessing) have been found to be effective in resolving the stress- systems. One must always ask for help and reach out for support after identifying the early signs of stress.

Trauma can be subtle and is subjective in nature. Small incidents occurring in the daily life may trigger fear and it is very important to understand these triggers as the person because of the hyper-arousal becomes hyper-vigilant and suspicious. Small things or incidents may generate intense fear and cause a lot of muscle tension and other psychosomatic problems. The individual has to learn to self-regulate her emotions and release this trauma which is withheld in the body. Animals can very easily shake off this frozen trauma from their nervous system. Humans, on the other hand, especially women have a weak nervous system because of their anatomy and can easily get triggered to a state of hyper-arousal which may lead to a state of severe panic and anxiety. Post Stress Traumatic Injury is very common in our society however most of the women who suffer from it remain undiagnosed and suffer silently. One must always ask for help and reach out for support after identifying the early signs of stress. At a community level, efforts should be made for early identification and resolution of traumatic stress symptoms in women. This would truly lead women to feel safe, resilient & empowered.

(*The name of the client has been changed so as to keep the identity confidential)


-Written By Devendra Singh ,

 dvv0415@gmail.com

Author’s bio:

Devendra Singh: Life Coach, Psychologist & Hypnotherapist: A human resource & management development professional with over two decades of experience. Specialization in managing psychological issues related to women & adolescents. You can reach out at:  dvv0415@gmail.com

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