What is Trauma?

Trauma is a big word. It is often associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Trauma is any historical event or series of events that, though it took place in the past, has a significant negative impact on how you live your life in the present. Many people say “I’m over that”; in fact, under closer investigation, the trauma continues to impact relationships, work, spirituality, self esteem, health, mental health, and healthy daily functioning. In my experience, many people who experience trauma don’t fit into the traditional categories for a diagnosis of PTSD. If trauma is not addressed, it tend to grow and disrupt life more and more progressively. Some of the many examples of trauma can include (this list is far from exhaustive):

  • Bullying
  • Car accident
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Actions taken or witness in addiction
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Diagnosis of a severe medical condition regarding oneself or a family member

Symptoms can include:

  • Behavioral
    • Agitation
    • Irritability
    • Hostility
    • Hypervigilance
    • Self-destructive behavior
    • Social Isolation
  • Psychological
    • Not feeling safe
    • Flashbacks
    • Fear
    • Severe anxiety
    • Mistrust
    • Emotional detachment
    • Unwanted thoughts
  • Mood
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
    • Shame and guilt
    • Loneliness
  • Sleep
    • Insomnia
    • Night terrors or paralysis

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