Is Moving Considered Trauma?

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Yes, moving could be considered traumatic unless you work with compassionate friends and family or hire professional movers. Should you decide to hire out, look for those who have an unwavering commitment to excellence, professionalism, and customer satisfaction. They’re handling your beloved, cherished items, and that alone can be stressful. Make sure they will ensure that the moving process is a seamless and stress-free experience from start to finish.

If they have a good reputation, they will be more than capable of handling the logistics process so you and your loved ones can start processing and focusing on beginning a new chapter.

For me, it depends. For example, I happen to live across the street from an amazing, clean, private lake with an outstanding view. But, when I can find a house that meets my specifications and is on the lake, you better believe I will be happy.

Although, as I am writing this, I feel deeply sentimental about my home. My children were born here, I am raising them here, and I have lived here for twenty-two years this spring. Okay, maybe I changed my mind. Let’s see what the experts say.

According to the University Hospital System of Northeastern Ohio, moving is one of the top five traumatic events in life. Moving is the third most stressful event after the death of a loved one and divorce.

Relocation Stress Syndrome, also called “transfer trauma,” is a set of symptoms that occur when an individual moves from one environment to another. These symptoms can influence our behavior, mood, and physiological well-being.

To further add insult to injury, some unfortunate people may face eviction in their life, which adds another layer of suck. A fellow community member grew up most of their life in their home with their parents, who later lost their rental home due to eviction. Sadly, they had only two weeks to pack up their whole life. It was an agonizing time with late nights and long days. It turned out better for them, but in that instance, they surely couldn’t imagine that.

In some instances, when one decides to move, it’s not just about transporting belongings from one place to another; you’re transporting your life. That is if you are fortunate enough to have all your belongings from your life when you do decide to move.

What causes people to move from one place to another?

Sometimes, calamities like tornadoes, fires, or floods can wipe out a family’s history in one failed swoop. Unfortunately, a close family member had their home go up in flames in the middle of the night with their spouse and five children sleeping peacefully.

The fire occurred because a squirrel crawled into their electric transformer box, chewed on some wires, and caught fire, sending flames down the power lines into their home. Then, flames blew out a light in the basement, which caught the HVAC units on fire, exploding out the basement window near their gas-powered golf cart.

It continued to get worse within seconds because once the flames reached the golf cart’s gas tank, it exploded and lit the house on fire from the outside, which left the home to burn from all sides, structurally crumbling from all sides within a matter of minutes.

Thankfully, my family members had fire evacuation charts and previously ran drills in their home. When they were newly married, they ran a group home, so they had the know-how and experience to ensure a property and its occupants understood safety protocols.

That experience and “whatever” runs the Universe saved all seven of them, their two dogs, and even the stray outdoor cat they “adopted” made it out alive. The fire chief said it was nothing short of a miracle that they made it out in time, uninjured (physically). They suffered from depression, anxiety, and nightmares for many years afterward but courageously persisted in putting their lives back together. Although this time they had better coverage and bought a stone house!

Psychological effects of moving frequently as a child

What about those folks who tend to move every couple of years? Always thought that it would be horrible as a kid to “start over” every couple of years. I never had to be one of those kids, as we lived in the same home from the time I was in first grade until I graduated. Which I have continued with my children, as stated earlier.

Frequent moves take a toll on children’s social-emotional well-being. At all ages, each additional move is associated with slight declines in social skills and emotional and behavioral problems. Although the effects are minor, these deficits can accumulate, leaving people at a greater risk.

Additionally, those who have moved often as a child are more likely to see relationships with others as disposable. That means they struggle to make long-term friendships or commitments. In other words, they have attachment issues.

According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, a new study shows that frequent relocations in childhood are related to poorer well-being in adulthood, especially among people who are more introverted or neurotic.

“We know that children who move frequently are more likely to perform poorly in school and have more behavioral problems,” said the study’s lead author, Shigehiro Oishi, PhD, of the University of Virginia.

The researchers found that the more times people moved as children, the more likely they were to report lower life satisfaction and psychological well-being at the time they were surveyed, even when controlling for age, gender and education level. The research also showed that those who moved frequently as children had fewer quality social relationships as adults.

Is moving considered trauma?

While moving can be a challenging experience, it is valuable to approach it with the thought that despite the potential stress and disruptions that may come along with moving, it’s also an opportunity for growth, new experiences, and a fresh start.

Remember, in seeking support from loved ones or hiring professional movers, taking care of our emotional well-being can help us navigate the process more smoothly. Ultimately, moving can be a chance for personal development and open doors to exciting life possibilities.

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