BEHAVIORs

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Abuse truama treatment

Types of truama

Symptoms

Trauma is “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster.”  However, a person may experience trauma as a response to any event they find physically or emotionally threatening or harmful.  A traumatized person can feel a range of emotions both immediately after the event and in the long term.

They may feel overwhelmed, helpless, shocked, or have difficulty processing their experiences. Trauma can also cause physical symptoms.  Trauma can have long-term effects on the person’s well-being. If symptoms persist and do not decrease in severity, it can indicate that the trauma has developed into a mental health disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are several types of trauma, including:

Acute trauma: This results from a single stressful or dangerous event.


Chronic trauma: This results from repeated and prolonged exposure to highly stressful events. Examples include cases of child abuse, bullying, or domestic violence.


Complex trauma: This results from exposure to multiple traumatic events.


Secondary trauma, or vicarious trauma: is another form of trauma. With this form of trauma, a person develops trauma symptoms from close contact with someone who has experienced a traumatic event.

The symptoms of trauma range from mild to severe.

Many factors determine how a traumatic event affects a person, including;

  • their characteristics
  • the presence of other mental health conditions
  • previous exposure to traumatic events
  • the type and characteristics of the event or events
  • their background and approach to handling emotions
  • Emotional and psychological responses

A person who has experienced trauma may feel:

  • denial
  • anger
  • fear
  • sadness
  • shame
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • numbness
  • guilt
  • hopelessness
  • irritability
  • difficulty concentrating

Family members, mental health professionals, and others who care for those who have experienced a traumatic event are at risk of vicarious trauma. The symptoms often mirror those of PTSD.  Sometimes, a person will also experience hyperarousal, or when someone feels as though they are in a constant state of alertness. This may make it difficult to sleep. Individuals may also go on to develop other mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems.

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