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The Scars We Carry: Trauma's impact on Mental Health

Trauma is a scary or upsetting event that can leave lasting effects on a person's mind and emotions. It can be something that happens once, or something that happens over a long time.

The facts on Trauma

  • 1 in 5 Australians have reported to experiencing at least one traumatic event in their lifetime*

  • 8.5 Million Australians have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life (43% of the population)*

  • Mental Health conditions linked to trauma can sometimes appear months or even years after the event

  • Trauma has been linked to several mental health conditions such as Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, dissociative disorders and substance use disorders.

How trauma can affect mental health

When someone experiences a traumatic event, it can change the way their brain develops and functions. This can make it harder for them to process information and manage their emotions. As a result, they may be more likely to develop certain mental health conditions.

Here are some examples:

  • Anxiety Disorders: People who have been through trauma can be more likely to experience anxiety disorders. These disorders can make them feel constantly worried, on edge, or even have panic attacks.

  • Mood Disorders:  Trauma can also lead to mood disorders like depression or Bipolar disorder. These conditions can affect a person's energy levels, sleep patterns, and overall mood.

  • Personality Disorders: Trauma can affect how someone's personality develops. For example, someone who experienced trauma as a child might have trouble controlling their emotions or maintaining healthy relationships in adulthood.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD: PTSD is a common mental health condition that can develop after a traumatic event either by experiencing it or witnessing it. People with PTSD may have flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts about the event and can have difficulty concentrating.

  • Self-Medication: Some people who experience trauma may use drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult emotions. This can lead to addiction and other problems.

  • Dissociation: Trauma can cause some people to disconnect from their thoughts, feelings, or memories. This is called dissociation.

Not everyone with a mental health condition will have a disability. However, some people may have a long-term disability related to their mental health. This may qualify them for support programs like the NDIS.

Overall, trauma can have a significant impact on a person's mental health. If you or someone you know has experienced trauma, it's important to seek professional help.


Supporting People with Complex Needs

Everyone has unique needs, and Myxa understands that. We work with a diverse range of people, from those requiring basic support to individuals with complex care requirements. Our approach focuses on the whole person, ensuring their overall well-being.

Here's how we do it:

  • Personalised Plans: We work together with each person to create a plan that fits their specific needs and goals. This includes helping them deal with challenges related to trauma.

  • Supportive Staff: Our team is specially trained to care for people who have experienced trauma. They understand how trauma can affect people and know how to respond calmly and thoughtfully in difficult situations. This creates a safe and supportive environment.

  • Working with Professionals: We work with other qualified healthcare professionals, like therapists, to provide additional support and therapy.


​Positive Behavioural Support (PBS): A Trauma-Informed Approach

Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) is a framework used to understand and address challenging behaviours that may stem from trauma experiences. PBS focuses on identifying why someone acts the way they do, and then finding healthy ways for them to express themselves and deal with their feelings.

Here are some examples of how PBS can be used with individuals affected by trauma:

  • Finding Triggers: We can help people recognise things that make them feel upset or scared, like certain sounds, places, or memories.

  • Making Safe Spaces: We can change their surroundings to make them feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed.

  • Learning New Skills: We can teach people calming techniques like deep breathing and relaxation exercises, and how to communicate their needs clearly.

By implementing a PBS plan, Myxa participants are empowered to develop healthy ways to deal with their feelings. This gives them more independence and control over their lives.

If you would like to find out more information on Positive Behavioural Support program click here.


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