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Small T Trauma

You may think that all the negative experiences you had in the past aren’t important enough to warrant counseling. But even these small T traumas, over time, can add up to major mental health issues. Talk to an expert psychotherapist about what may actually be complex PTSD. You can find a compassionate doctor at Online Psychiatrists, serving New York, New Jersey and Florida. Take advantage of in-person sessions or convenient online video conferencing. Call today to schedule a consultation.


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What Is Small T Trauma?

While big T trauma refers to those events that most people identify as traumatic — fighting in a warzone, witnessing a murder, experiencing a serious automobile accident or being kidnapped — small T trauma may be a little harder to recognize. Small T trauma refers to those so-called minor things that can have a big emotional impact, such as being emotionally rejected, excluded or neglected in a time of need.

Small T trauma builds up in your psyche over time. It may be a small thing, but it’s normally repetitive or chronic. It’s not a huge impact all at once. Instead, you gradually develop a negative self-image due to the lessons you learn again and again.

For example, if your parents or a significant other in your life always talked down to you or ignored you when you most wanted their love, it produces a small T trauma. Small T traumas can have a significant impact on your mental health and happiness. But you can have this condition treated by an informed, caring psychotherapist at Online Psychiatrists.

How Do Small T Traumas Become Complex PTSD?

You may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder for two reasons:

  • You’ve had an experience with big T trauma, normally one big earth-shattering experience. This is most common cause of PTSD.
  • You develop the symptoms of PTSD without a big T trauma. You may not be able to find the source of your symptoms. Complex PTSD typically refers to a PTSD-like illness that’s caused by repeated little T traumas.

For example, say you don’t like to express your feelings or you get frustrated trying to. In therapy, you may discover that earlier in your life, you were ridiculed when you put strong feelings into words. The most difficult aspect of complex PTSD is realizing that you have it, since it’s so easy to say, “That wasn’t a big deal,” or “Everyone goes through that.” Your therapist stops you from comparing your trauma to others and guides you to a place of healing and wellness.

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What Are the Complications of Untreated Trauma?

When you’re suffering from small T trauma, you feel like you’re not living up to your potential or that there’s something missing. People with numerous instances of small T traumas feel like they never really let loose or enjoy themselves. Small T trauma can manifest into significant problems throughout your life, such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Unsatisfying relationships
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Chronic disappointment
  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling alienated
  • Self-loathing
  • Anger and resentment
  • Shame

Small T trauma can also lead to substance abuse because you seek to self-medicate. When you get treatment for your addiction with a doctor who specializes in addiction treatment, you may end up resolve that issue by digging into the underlying causes — your small T trauma.

Does Talk Therapy Treatment Help?

Small T trauma and its effects can be addressed in different types of talk therapy, such as:

  • Psychodynamic therapies may uncover deep emotional conflicts that originated in childhood. This treatment can be especially helpful for exploring small T trauma, which often originates early in life.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy helps you uncover the stories you tell yourself and the negative thoughts that keep you stuck.
  • Exposure therapy is done by slowly facing — in your mind or in real life — the triggers that you’ve been afraid of. With small T trauma or complex PTSD, you have trouble facing things like intimate interaction with others or setting boundaries. Exposure therapy helps you build confidence while doing these things.
  • Group therapy helps you learn assertiveness and bond with others who’ve had or are having similar experiences.
  • Integrative therapy is another form of constructive talk therapy. Because small T trauma can produce so many different symptoms, you may need a combination of strategies for the best results. Sometimes, just learning about small T trauma can have a positive effect.

What Other Treatment Modalities Are There?

Medication may be necessary in your treatment, especially if you have severe symptoms of depression, anxiety or substance abuse. So it’s recommended that you seek treatment from a doctor who can manage your medications. Medication management ensures that you receive the most appropriate medication and in the correct dosage.

Your physical health is especially important when facing trauma. Your body is affected by the way your brain processes things. Your therapist helps you build a treatment plan that works best for both your mind and your body. Contact Online Psychiatrists today to learn about telepsychiatry techniques that are proving to be extremely effective treating small T trauma symptoms.

Updated on Nov 19, 2021 by Dr. Zlatin Ivanov (Psychiatrist ) of Online Psychiatrists

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