Are You REALLY “Trauma-Informed” ? Or Are You Just Using it As A Selling Point? An #OpenLetter to the #MentalHealth Industry

Trigger Warning:

This post contains conversations about domestic abuse, rape, and trauma. It may be triggering for some. Please use the link below if you or someone you know needs help. If you are in immediate danger if you can find a neighbor or dial 911.

If you need support check out this great list of phone numbers you can call for support, from around the world.

Keep Going…You Can Do It


This is the new term that the Mental Health industry is suddenly using, and it’s a phrase I’ve been hearing with growing popularity over the last few years. And I resent the fuck out of it.

I’ve been hearing it from counselors, doctors, and even patients, who hear my story and learn that while they have -some- experience with trauma, there’s a lot they don’t know how to handle. I even had the most honest counselor tell me she wasn’t prepared to help me, because of the volume of my story.

Trauma-Informed is a good sales technique that people use to convince you that they can really help you and in some cases, they can, but when we’re talking about Cult Rape, Gang Rape, and Childhood Sex Trafficking, there aren’t many people who can help with that.

Trauma-Informed Care understands and considers the pervasive nature of trauma and promotes environments of healing and recovery rather than practices and services that may inadvertently re-traumatize.

The problem with “trauma-informed” is again, that it’s a good sales technique, but what a lot of people who are dealing with trauma need, is a place they can go to talk about their trauma, where they won’t trigger others, where they can speak freely. And that’s not an easy thing to offer too many people when you’re working with trauma-affected people. It can in fact be quite debilitating.

When you say “trauma-informed” you have to be able to explain what that means.

Do you know and understand the deep layers of:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Behavioral modification/detriggerization
  • Do you know what “Little Mode” means and how to explain it sufficiantly? Because I do.
  • Age Regression? (hint, it’s the exact same as above.)
  • Constant states of fight or flight?
  • Fatigue Syndrome
  • S.A.D.
  • Panic Attacks
  • Social Anxiety
  • And what it’s like to feel like you have all of the above, at the same damned time?

Because that’s what I’m going through. All while being diagnosed as “psychotic” without a clear definition of what that precisely means. I am constantly feeling like I am on the wire, either leaning toward one way or another, but never fully feeling like I can balance the steps that I am taking to the future that I claim to want.

I know I need balance, and I know I need to prepare myself to let new people into my life again, but I just feel like I’m not ready. I’m not ready to face the world yet because once again I’m still feeling like I’m enjoying this peace and the calm that I’ve been able to carve out for myself. Every time I feel this way something dips and I get pulled back into the chaos again for a while, but every time I come back to this place, I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be.

Do you know what that is? It’s a deep-seated need for comfort, it’s a trauma response, it’s in response to my life LITERALLY being in danger for years, by the men that I was surrounded by.

Now that I’m away from men I feel much stronger than I have in the past, but I am now also deeply and irrevocably terrified of men – specifically white men – because now I know what they are comfortable with. I know what they are willing to do to other human beings, in spite of what the consequences might be.

I am fully aware of what money, power, and corruption can do to the lives of those who are innocent while protecting the guilty and shaming the innocent, and yes I believe that there are some conspiracy “theories” that are true. Specifically when it comes to sex crimes and childhood trafficking for the purposes of rape and torture. Because I’ve experienced it.

So while you may say you are “Trauma-Informed,” I have to ask…are you? Really? I am going to question your credentials, because I’ve seen more than 100 counselors in my lifetime and not a single one of them was able to help me, in fact, I even accused one of rape, because he was there the night I was gang-raped – the last time.

Do you understand – and more importantly, believe that many patients are misdiagnosed by doctors and professionals who are NOT trauma-informed and that in some cases these diagnoses have altered and completely destroyed the lives of vulnerable people? Because that’s happened – not to me personally as far as I’m aware, but to others.

Do you believe in false memory syndrome? If so I have an island in the Bermuda Triangle to sell you, if you can find it it’s yours for free.

There are days often, that I sit at my computer and just stare at Twitter, this isn’t an overdose of social media, it’s a trauma response to remembering one more horrible thing that happened to me, that I hadn’t remembered before. It’s like a constant horror film in my fucking head that won’t turn off.

There are hours that pass without me being able to move because my body feels like it’s filled with rocks.

I am grieving, because I was a different person before I started to remember what was done to me, and I liked that person. She was beautiful, she danced, she sang, she didn’t smoke or eat too much and she wasn’t completely depressed by the weight of every stone that represents a man who went too far and said fuck it instead of “are you okay?”

I am grieving all the lost friendships because people would rather protect my abusers instead of believing me, I am grieving because my life that I was starting to feel safe in for the first time ever, was stolen from me by PTSD.

I am overwhelmed by it all and I need someone who can sit there and hear all of that, and actually help me find small ways to heal that release some of the tension and set me more free tomorrow than I am today, and if you can’t do that if you can’t do half of that, you are NOT trauma-informed.

Because if you were, you’d understand that when we say “trauma” we mean everything above and then ten thousand pounds more, and there’s so much of it for some people, that they don’t even have words yet to describe it all. I am not alone in this and I know that, but I also know that you need to get super honest with yourself if you’re in the mental health industry. You went to classrooms and school, but were you ever deeply traumatized to the point that you feel like your soul broke?

Because I need someone who gets that.

If you’re out there, I’m ready

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall