What is trauma
- When people experience a trauma they often become distressed by memories, flashbacks or nightmares of a frightening event.
- Witnessing or being threatened by violent death, suffering a serious injury or rape, or experiencing a catastrophe such as a hurricane, accident, fire, flood or earth-quake or terrorist attack often lead to people developing traumatic response to these events.
- Traumatic responses are often marked by a range of anxiety symptoms such as chronic worry, panic attacks, avoidance and feeling unreal as well as somatic symptoms such as fatigue, muscle tension, nausea, palpations or increased heart rate and physical pain.
Why are the symptoms of trauma distressing
- The symptoms of trauma are distressing because they often result in a person experiencing a series of debilitating symptoms which are often referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
- A person with PTSD will frequently re-experience the traumatic event, and this may lead to them being on consent alert in case something dangerous happens.
- A person with PTSD may also avoid experience negative thoughts or mood changes, and feel numb to the world or estranged from other people.