Trauma has always been a part of our history. Its only recently received a great deal of attention. Advances in neurological study have helped us to understand more about the nature of trauma and its impact on people's functioning. Until recently and sometimes currently trauma survivors have been wrongly diagnosed as ADHD, Bi-Polar and even Borderline. As a result of much evidenced based research and in line with our own findings many of the symptoms of these disorders are really symptoms of PTSD and attachment disorders.
Trauma can be defined in one of several ways. It may be as a result of a major horrific experience that leaves the person in great fear of their life or serious injury. It may also may be defined as an ongoing trend of treatment that emotionally injures the individual. This might include such things as neglect, rejection or abandonment. Ultimately, the impact of these two forms of trauma are the same.
When the impact of Trauma is experienced significantly after the fact in the form of intrusive or unwanted memories, upsetting feelings, a tendency to overreact in social situations and difficulty sleeping the individual is thought to be subject to PTSD.
Attachment disorders occur as a result of an insecure early life attachment to caregivers during the beginning of life. Many things that are sometimes subtle can interfere with the infant's successful attachment. The young child is very vulnerable and hypersensitive to any changes in relationships or even transitions. The child may struggle with attention, focus, anger outbursts and other disruptive behaviors. Current findings suggests that the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation is under developed in attachment disordered children. This is the same part of the brain that is primarily affected by trauma. Consequently, many of the symptoms of these two groups may be identical.
The good news is that there have been many advances in the understanding of how trauma, PTSD and attachment disorders can be successfully treated through counseling.