Everyone hurts and everyone is wounded. Philo the Greek once wrote, “be nice for everyone is fighting a great battle.” Trauma is an all too common form of wounding. Trauma occurs when a person is overwhelmed by a single event or many events over time. Their capacity to cope has been exceeded as they are in a state of extreme stress. It impacts our mental health, relationships, and physical health. It has been linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Trauma comes in many forms. There is big ’T’ Trauma which is the one-time events of tragedy that people experience or witness, such as a car crash, combat, natural disaster, or a moment of emotional or physical abuse. Big ’T’ Trauma can result in clinical diagnoses such as PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and ASD (acute stress disorder). Little ’t’ traumas are the repetitive, death-by-a-thousand-cuts, experiences that build up over time. These traumas can also lead to clinical diagnoses such as anxiety or mood disorders and OTRS (ongoing traumatic relationship syndrome).
Trauma is a risk factor in most behaviors health and substance use disorders. It is essential to rule out or address all mental health treatments. Some studies show that over 90% of people seeking psychotherapy have experienced trauma. The National Council on Behavioral Health estimated that 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some form of trauma at least once in their lives.
Your Brain on Trauma
- Suspicious and untrusting
- Negative and pessimistic
- Scattered and distracted
- Demotivated and drained of energy
- Judgmental of yourself and others
- Emotionally cut off
Resources and References
If you are having a trauma flashback follow these steps