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
Below are possible reactions to trauma, it is important to remember that people can respond to trauma in different ways. An individual may respond to trauma in a way that is not listed, or an individual may not experience much of a reaction to a traumatic event.
Denial or Doubt
Loss of control/powerlessness
Numb or restricted range of feelings
Hyper-alertness or hyper-vigilance
Need to control everyday tasks
Concern with burdening others
Sexual fears or problems
Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
Unpleasant memories resurfacing
Avoiding normal daily activities such as work or school
Increasing use of alcohol/drugs
Refusing to talk about what happened or limiting discussion about the event.
Denying that the event happened
Acting like the event was no big deal