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4 Ways Trauma Can Complicate Mental Health Treatment

Article by Támara Hill, MS, LPC

Summary and analysis by Alexander Rijo, Healing10 Intern



This article starts with a true story about the author’s experience with a client. She failed to noticed that one of her clients was acting abnormally because of his traumatic background and not just because of his diagnosis. The author then states in the article four ways that having a trauma background can affect the way that people act and how it relates to mental illness. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the ways, it affects your health and it can make you have delusions or hallucinations, depression or bipolar disorder. Second, Anxiety can trigger symptoms of trauma, anxiety can bring back traumatic experiences. A patient can also be vulnerable to misdiagnoses because people can confuse the symptoms of trauma with another type of mental illness when you actually are experiencing trauma. Finally ,however, the author says that some symptoms have nothing to do at all with a traumatic past, sometimes what people are experiencing is not trauma but another diagnosis.


Mental illness and Trauma are related and can make each other worse. This is important in trauma informed care because sometimes when someone had experienced trauma it can affect the ways you see things in their lives. People might think that the person has a mental illness, but the real reason for his actions is that he or she is traumatized.


I can relate to this article because at school I see students that don’t do their work or always come to school in a bad mood. Other people, even the teachers, might judge how the student is acting without even trying to understand or ask what is going on their lives. These students might not do good at school because they are experiencing some type of trauma, mental illness or even both. This is important because is better to try to understand the person before judging the person’s acts. It’s not easy when you’re fighting against a trauma experience or when you have a mental illness.

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