Falls and Trauma

How a Fall Can Cause Trauma

trauma, PTSD, falls, Somatic Experiencing, SE, Peter Levine, It’s obvious that a fall from a ladder or down a flight of stairs can have serious consequences physically. But what about the more subtle effects they may have years later  on the mind and body that could be classified as trauma? And what about smaller falls that we don’t think mattered? We have all had trips and falls that haven’t necessarily resulted in trauma. So what are the indicators that a fall has produced a traumatic effect on the body and mind?

Some of the common symptoms of a fall trauma include:

  • dizziness
  • frequent loss of balance, unstable
  • a heightened sense of being physically vulnerable or absolutely no sense of vulnerability
  • anxiety about falling
  • clumsiness
  • over-control of the body, stiffness
  • a fear of heights
  • large gaps of memory loss
  • unable to feel grounded, feet may feel like they don’t reach the earth

Several or all of the symptoms above may indicate that a fall wasn’t as insignificant as we had thought it was. It usually takes a fall that has resulted in an injury to develop into an ongoing trauma that will impact us years later. People who have fallen may quite often continue to trip over their own feet, knock things over, and bump into furniture. These may not seem like much, but they can be serious depending on where they trip or what they knock over.

The good news is that falls and their symptoms can be treated and the effects on the body eliminated. We can regain a healthy sense of being grounded and balanced, a sense of stability.

Somatic work is especially good at working with serious falls. This is particularly important if an injury resulted from the fall, which will add another layer of trauma symptoms.

If you have suffered a serious fall, see if the above symptoms apply. If they do, get help.

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