Trauma from Illness
Chronic illness can be traumatic on physical, mental and emotional levels. People who are ill often, might display classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress, even if they don’t have the full-blown disorder. Some who are ill develop a veil of impenetrability, others are in chronic combat mode and still others spend all their time on the lookout for the next symptom or exacerbation. Illness can end up running the show, in some sense, when the pain of being sick is so difficult to bear.
There are patients who do well with their illnesses–the symptoms aren’t that bad, or can be well controlled–or they may be temperamentally resilient, inclined to forget their deficits. But for some, it might be better not to shrug off problems, but rather to acknowledge their fears. By recognizing the traumatic aspects of illness the ill person can potentially break through denial, modulate obsession and lessen rage. Support groups for the chronically ill have in common a “telling” of the trauma, which robs it of some of its power to haunt. Patients trade stories of their symptoms, surgeries, and treatment regimens. And a consequence of this “being in touch” with the pain-with the anger, preoccupation, sadness- can sometimes, over time, be a road to putting the illness in its place. It is part of life, sometimes overwhelmingly so; but it might not have to be all of life.
Treating Trauma at Milestones
At Milestones at Onsite, we want you to know that we stand behind you one hundred percent. We want to support you and walk with you into your recovery. We believe in unconditional love and provide a safe environment for you to do the work that has been needed for a long time. We are here to help and we’d be honored to have the opportunity to show up for you and help you discover joy in your life.