Trauma is an event that is psychologically distressing. Trauma can happen at any age.
Trauma can be one life event such as the death of a loved one, a car accident, fleeing a war torn country or becoming a refugee. These events can leave us feeling overwhelmed, often involving us to feel a sense of fear, terror and helplessness. This usually results in what we call the fight, flight and freeze response, in our bodies.
Trauma can also be more than one event that happens over a period of time such as emotional abuse, physical abuse or being neglected. Multiple traumas can have a bigger impact on our minds and bodies.
Trauma symptoms don’t always appear straight away and can have a delayed response. This delay could be hours or years, everyone is different.
Your body and minds’ responses to trauma can be internalized or externalized. Internalized responses may lead to a person feeling vulnerable, ‘not good enough’, helpless, and anxious or overwhelmed. Externalized responses may lead to a person becoming shy or withdrawn, ‘spacing out’ or seeming to have a ‘short fuse’ or angry outbursts. Your body can feel different or you may not feel in your body at times.
Sufferers may develop extreme anxiety or Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life. It is possible to overcome trauma – you just need to get the right help. Contact your GP or Oxford health, Splitz and NSPCC
Trauma can be recovered from, with the right help and support.
Some traumatic events in childhood are known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). Some examples of ACES include; familial mental illness, divorce and emotional abuse. ACES cause us stress which can then have long lasting effects on our minds and bodies. When we experience stress for prolonged periods of time, this is known as Toxic or Chronic Stress. Watch the video to understand a little more about ACES and how they can impact our lives.