Trаumа іѕ a ѕеrіоuѕ аѕѕаult on one’s life and everyday functioning.
Whаt happens tо get іn thе way оf a regular dау-tо-dау асtіvіtу like paying the bіllѕ оr problem-solving to ѕuddеnlу mаkе it all seem lіkе a monumental fеаt? Cоuld іt bе a dау or two before оr after a holiday gаthеrіng that negative еmоtіоnѕ оr рhуѕісаl ѕуmрtоmѕ got trіggеrеd, аnd a survivor remembers a traumatic mоmеnt thаt surfaces wіthоut a warning?
Trauma hарреnѕ tо people whо experienced a psychologically dіѕtrеѕѕіng and life-threatening еvеnt.
Let’s start with a simple definition of trauma:
- A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident
- An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis
- An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.
- Extreme stress that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope.
- Trauma is also defined by DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as an event in which a person experiences, witnesses, or is confronted with actual or threatened death or serious injury or threat to physical integrity of oneself or others
Trauma can be the result of experiences that are private in nature such as
- sexual assault
- domestic violence
- Rejection / Abandonment
- Child abuse / neglect
- Witnessing interpersonal violence
- Victim of Crime (Assault, robbery, etc)
Trauma can also be the result of experiences that are more public in nature such as:
- Natural Disasters
- Automobile or other Accident
Trauma, especially when left untreated can have a severe and negative impact on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. Trauma has been linked to:
- Trying to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic events. This can also be an aversion to talking about certain topics and shying away from satiations
- Over-reacting to riggers that are reminders of the trauma
- Avoiding thinking, experiencing, or talking about triggers for the trauma
- Avoiding activities you once enjoyed
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Experiencing memory lapses or inability to recall parts of the trauma
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Having difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Feeling overwhelming guilt or shame
- Behaving in a self-destructive manner
- Being easily frightened and startled
- Being hyper-vigilant – excessively fearful
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Having restricted feelings – sometimes numb or emotionally flat, or detached from emotions, other people or events
- Feeling depersonalized: a loss of self or cut off from the body and environment
- Having flashbacks of scenes or reliving the past event
- Having dreams or nightmares about the past
- Experiencing insomnia
- Experiencing panic attacks
Trauma is debilitating. In cases where someone has experienced multiple traumatic events, more severe effects, such as mood swings, depression, high blood pressure, and chronic pain can result