Trauma and PTSD
Trauma is a term used to describe the experience of a unique emotional response that often results from living through a distressing or disturbing event that exceeds our ability to cope.
When we go through a traumatic event, our bodies may become stuck in the distressing sensory experiences of the trauma, including images, sounds, smells, and feelings.
Living through a traumatic event undermines your sense of safety, sense of worth, and ability to manage your feelings. It can leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people.
Big “T” traumas can occur after a serious accident, being a victim of personal violence, living through a natural disaster or war, or sudden unexpected loss.
Small “t” traumas can result from painful events experienced early in life, such as abuse, emotional neglect, and disrupted attachment, which can all have a big impact on one's life.
Emotional & and psychological symptoms of trauma can include:
- Shock, denial, and disbelief
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Excessive anger, irritability, mood swings
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Frequent crying
- Feeling disconnected or numb
- Nightmares and/or flashbacks
- Hyperarousal or hypervigilance
- Overuse of alcohol, drugs, or other substances