Treating Trauma: Lexi's Story
Trauma Is a Universal Human Truth
Did you know that 60% of men and 50% of women experience trauma at least once in their lives?1 That's roughly every other person. This means that regardless of someone's gender, age, nationality, religion, education level, sexual orientation, or income, there's a good chance that trauma will be part of their story.
Trauma is derived from the Greek word "traumatikos," meaning wound. According to Merriam-Webster, the Greeks only used the term for physical injuries, whereas today, trauma can also refer to emotional wounds.
trau·ma | /?trôm?/
a deeply distressing or disturbing experience
a physical injury
This article focuses on emotional trauma, which comes in many shapes and sizes. For some, trauma is an accumulation of stressors over time, and for others, it's a single life-changing event.
Whether trauma occurs once or many times, it can cause the fight-or-flight response to get stuck in overdrive – sometimes resulting in debilitating physical and psychological symptoms. This overactivation can be observed with a brain scan.2
Trauma is Nuanced
Stella co-founder and leading trauma expert Dr. Shauna Springer notes that many people used to believe that "trauma is trauma is trauma," regardless of the source. However, now we understand that the experience of trauma as well as the road to recovery looks and feels different for everyone.
In a recent episode of The Story of Our Trauma, Stella's new podcast, Dr. Springer spoke with fellow psychologist and trauma podcaster Guy MacPherson about how his understanding of trauma evolved over time.
At the beginning of his career, MacPherson reserved the term for major incidents. Many assume that if they haven't been in a car accident, haven't been raped, or haven't been to war, for example, that they haven't experienced trauma. But, through his work with clients, interviews of his peers for his podcast The Trauma Therapist, and his own introspection, MacPherson realized that the definition of trauma is, in fact, much broader.
"I have a more open mind about what can be traumatic. We have to remember that what can be traumatizing for one person isn't necessarily traumatizing for another person."
MacPherson shared that being bullied in elementary school was an ongoing traumatic experience that changed trajectory of his life: "It's very easy for people to think, bullying? Come on! Kids are like that. Get over it. Sometimes that's true, and other times it's not." He explained that bullying impacted his self-esteem, how he showed up in relationships, and how he thought of himself in his adult life.
Stella's Approach to Healing
Because trauma presents differently for everyone, treatment plans must be tailored to meet each individual's needs. At Stella, we measure our success in lives changed. We're dedicated to providing innovative treatments with life-changing results.
Lexi's Stella Story
A quick note of caution: the following story contains content that may be sensitive to some readers.
As a four years old, Lexi began being sexually abused by someone that her family knew. The abuse continued through her early teen years and eventually turned into sex trafficking.
Years of trauma caused Lexi to develop Post-Traumatic Stress. Lexi's symptoms were significant. She struggled with nightmares and being easily startled by loud noises. For her, receiving a PTSD diagnosis (which Stella refers to as PSTI) was a validation of what happened to her, and it empowered her to heal her body and mind.
Lexi struggled to enjoy everyday experiences like the sound of laughter, loud restaurants, and concerts. Desperate for relief, Lexi began researching additional treatments.
After she discovered SGB and read the research, she was cautiously optimistic. Lexi remembers, "It seemed way too good to be trust and way too simple, especially for someone who had been in therapy for over ten years."
When Lexi woke up after her SGB by Stella she "felt peace and could breathe" for the first time in her life." In that moment, Lexi knew that:
"Everyone needs to learn that SGB exists and have access to it."
Stella's mission is to bring SGB and other effective, research-backed treatments to all trauma survivors. Watch the video below to hear directly from Lexi about life before and after SGB by Stella.
To learn more about SGB by Stella, join us every Thursday at 3pm CST for our 30-minute webinar with live Q&A: SGB 101: A New Model of Trauma Treatment. All are welcome and it's free to attend.
1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018, September 13). How Common is PTSD in Adults? U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp
2. Alkire, M.T., Hollifield, M., Khoshsar, R., Nguyen, L., Alley, S. R., and Reist, C. (2015). Neuroimaging suggests that stellate ganglion block improves post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through an amygdala mediated mechanism. Presented at the Anesthesiology Annual Meeting, October 24, 2015.