The word “trauma” describes an experience that is distressing enough to overwhelm the involved person’s ability to cope. These are often situations in which the individual feels severely threatened, physically or emotionally. Traumatic experiences can range significantly – anything from a minor car accident to being exposed to warfare can cause trauma.


Possible Reactions to Trauma

This is a list of possible reactions to trauma, but it is very important to remember that people can respond to trauma in different ways. Someone might respond to trauma in a way that is not on this list, or someone might genuinely not have much of a reaction to an event that would be traumatizing to other individuals.

Emotional Responses:
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Embarrassment
  • Doubt
  • Anger
  • Distrust
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of control/powerlessness
  • Depression
  • Suicidal
Physical Responses:
  • Nightmares
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety/Fear
  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sleeplessness
  • Exhaustion
  • Stomach problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Sexual fears or problems
  • Flashbacks
  • Memory problems
Behavioral Responses:
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Avoiding normal daily activities such as work or school
  • Avoiding people
  • Increasing use of alcohol/drugs
  • Refusing to talk about what happened or talking a lot about the event
  • Denying that the event happened
  • Acting like the event was no big deal
  • Substance use
Every person is unique and may have different reactions after experiencing domestic or sexual violence. 
Survivors of violence are never to blame for the violence — no matter where or how it happens.

What is Trauma?

Updated on 2018-08-22T19:44:47+00:00, by admin.