Trauma can be defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. The events that could be considered traumatic are wide-ranging and could include anything from distress from a divorce, accidents, and bereavement to extreme experiences of war, sexual assault, domestic violence, and childhood physical/emotional/sexual abuse. Everyone processes a traumatic event differently because we all internalize and recount these events through different lenses.
Because trauma reactions fall across a wide spectrum, psychologists have developed categories as a way to differentiate between types of trauma. Among them are complex trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and developmental trauma disorder.
Often, shock and denial are typical reactions to a traumatic event. Over time, these emotional responses may fade, but a survivor may also experience reactions long-term. These can include Anger, Persistent feelings of sadness and despair, Flashbacks, Unpredictable emotions, Physical symptoms, such as nausea and headaches, Intense feelings of guilt, as if they are somehow responsible for the event, An altered sense of shame, and/or Feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
Whether you are recovering from past trauma, are going through a current crisis, or looking towards making future changes in your life, you don’t have to work through it alone.