Frightening or disturbing events are distressing for anyone and can result in a psychological wound, known as trauma, which may be particularly exaggerated or triggering if you are already coping with existing mental illness.
It may be that you have been involved in a car crash, lost a loved one, experienced violence, sexual assault or abuse, or a natural disaster. It may also be that you are strongly affected by seeing someone else deal with such a traumatic event.
What are the 3 types of trauma?
1. Acute Trauma: This is the most common type of trauma and is usually caused by a single, isolated event, such as a car accident or a natural disaster. The effects of acute trauma can be temporary, and most people will recover within a few days or weeks.
2. Chronic Trauma: This is the result of repeated or prolonged exposure to traumatic events, such as child abuse or domestic violence. The effects of chronic trauma can be long-lasting and severe, and can include physical, emotional, and psychological problems.
3. Complex Trauma: This is a combination of both acute and chronic trauma, and is often the result of prolonged exposure to multiple traumatic events, such as growing up in a war-torn country or experiencing multiple forms of abuse. The effects of complex trauma can be severe and long-lasting, and can include physical, emotional, and psychological problems.
Understanding the different types of trauma and their signs can be crucial in getting the appropriate help and support.
What are signs of trauma?
Certain responses or emotional signs of trauma are very normal. These include:
What is trauma vs PTSD?
It’s important to note that while trauma and PTSD are related, they are not the same thing. PTSD is a condition that can develop after a traumatic event and is characterised by symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviours. Trauma, on the other hand, is the event itself and can include a wide range of physical, emotional, and psychological reactions.
It’s when these feelings persist or worsen that it can be a sign of a deeper issue. If left unmanaged, trauma can make it incredibly difficult to cope and even function normally, so it’s important to seek help and support ASAP rather than bottling up feelings of distress.