Trauma is an emotional injury that occurs due to an experience that is deeply disturbing or upsetting. For example, you may experience trauma after experiencing abuse, neglect, bullying, an accident, natural disaster, loss of a loved one, war, or a crime.

Trauma can also develop after witnessing violence that happens to someone else. Trauma can happen to anyone, but children are particularly vulnerable. This vulnerability is likely because their brains and nervous symptoms are still developing.

It’s important to note that trauma is considered a normal response to an abnormal situation. Traumatic experiences often result in a myriad of symptoms that can persist long after the event has passed.

Some of the symptoms that trauma may cause include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Health problems
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Unusual eating habits
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Feelings of disconnection

Trauma and PTSD

Trauma can form as a result of a single incident, a repeated incident (such as abuse), or complex exposure to different types of traumatic events.

Trauma can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition happens when people cannot process their emotions surrounding a traumatic event and have acute symptoms of re-experiencing the trauma, avoiding reminders of the trauma, and mood symptoms that last for over a month.