Trauma

What is it?

Trauma is an emotional response from a distressing event in which a person feels severely threatened emotionally, psychologically, or physically.  These events could include bullying, a serious car accident, loss of a loved one, abuse or neglect, alcoholism, a violent act, war experiences, or a natural disaster.

Most people who experience such events recover from them, but people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continue to be severely depressed and anxious for months or even years following the event.

When traumatic events happen in your life, it’s not always easy to “get over it” quickly.  People respond to trauma in different ways and experience a wide range of physical and emotional reactions.  It is normal for survivors of trauma to go through a grieving process.  This process, while inherently painful, is easier if you turn to others for support, take care of yourself, and share how you feel.  It is important to seek professional help if a significant amount of time has passed and symptoms have not eased up.   Counseling can help people make sense of their experiences and feelings, develop plans to stay safe, learn how to regulate strong emotions, and begin to rebuild the ability to trust others again.

Symptoms of Trauma:

  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Being “shut down” or passive
  • Confusion/Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
  • Feeling edgy or agitated
  • Being startled easily
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Racing Heartbeat
  • Using harmful substances

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