Trauma refers to the body or mind being overwhelmed by traumatic events. Psychological trauma in particular occurs as a result of a distressing event that leads the sufferer to question their beliefs while destroying their assumptions of trust. If you have experienced a traumatic event, you may feel socially disconnected and somewhat numb, leading to feelings of isolation. On top of this, you may find yourself feeling more afraid and vulnerable than before the event.
Psychological trauma is the mind’s reaction to an event and not everyone will react to the same event in the same way – for example, some people would find falling from a height traumatic, while others choose to jump out of planes for fun. Trauma also affects people in different ways and for some, the symptoms take weeks, months or even years to surface.
Regardless of its source, an emotional trauma contains three common elements:
- it was unexpected;
- the person was unprepared; and
- there was nothing the person could do to prevent it from happening.
No matter how major or minor your traumatic experience was, you might benefit from professional help from a counsellor. As we all react differently to these types of events, it is important not to compare yourself to other people, even if they went through the same experience. By getting help as soon as you need it, you will be giving yourself the best chance to overcome any issues and move on with your life. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above and they are persisting for weeks or even months, be sure to seek help.
It is especially important to get help if you experience any of the following:
- You feel unable to function in day-to-day life.
- You are unable to form or maintain relationships.
- You are self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol.
- You are experiencing severe flashbacks.
- You feel emotionally numb.
- You are suffering from an anxiety/stress disorder due to trauma.
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