When the ‘pillars of our community’ breakdown
Many Are Suffering from Trauma and Don’t Even Know It
Many high achievers struggle to cope with life events such as divorce, bereavement, violence or sexual abuse because of the “get over it” culture of the corporate world, according to a leading psychotherapist.
Sometimes, they are suffering all the symptoms of trauma, but are unlikely to take time off work to recover. Instead they put on a brave face in public when in fact they are just days or weeks from breaking down. Sometimes they are struck out of life with no warning having devastating effect on all areas of their life.
Trauma specialist, Anna Pinkerton, details her findings in her new book,
How to Smile Again: Recovery for those in public life but in private pain.
“Professional people are so used to coping with whatever life throws at them. Their whole identity is bound up in coping and being successful. After shocking events outside of their control they can be filled with shame and despair; they wonder why they’re not coping better,” she says.
Anna 46 who is based in Derbyshire has devoted her professional life to treating patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. Her approach is unique using simple images to help people understand what is happening to them, she shares these in her book.
She says trauma can be caused by one off shocking events and slow to build stresses over a long period of time. “It is not the severity of an incident, but the impact on the person that matters. Someone can have an accident, which seems to be minor, but it traumatises them because it triggers a connection with other unresolved experiences stored in their memory,” she explains.
Symptoms of trauma include:
- Consistent difficulty with concentrating
- Acute Anxiety
- Binge drinking and binge eating
- Having a ‘short fuse’
- Loss of appetite
- Self harming
- Short term memory loss
Anna, who is a mother of two, has devoted her professional life to helping hundreds of emotionally, psychologically and physically injured people to rebuild their lives. She has a thorough understanding, not only through dealing with clients but through personal experience. She was shocked when a violent assault by her partner in June 2011 left her with post traumatic stress.
“I’m living proof that it can happen to anyone. Even an expert can be crippled by trauma. You are at the mercy of your nervous system. Because of this I know it is possible to be struck out of life as you knew it, and I also know it is possible to repair yourself even if you feel utterly broken and are suffering in silence,” she says.
Anna Pinkerton is an art psychotherapist, trauma practitioner and coach who has dedicated her career to understanding post-traumatic stress. Her therapy centre CHAPTERS is based in Derbyshire, though she has office in London and helps people all around the UK.
How to Smile Again: Recovery for those in public life but in private pain by Anna Pinkerton is available from bookshops from 11th June 2015
For a review copy, serialisation rights, extracts or to arrange an interview with the author, contact:
07899 688845 firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna is also available to write by-lined features and articles