Overview

Trauma

Trauma can be an event or experience that causes distress such as;

Road traffic accident                Physical assault
Death                                        loss
Fire                                           Witnessing a traumatic event
Rape                                         Natural disaster
Sexual Assault


The different type of trauma above are single events with the potential to occur suddenly and without warning. This is classed as a type-1 trauma - the single event has a beginning, a middle and an end.

However, some types of trauma can occur on multiple occasions and over a longer period of time with no clear beginning, middle or end. This added anticipation about what may happen coupled with a fear of not being able to prevent the event is categorised as a type-2 trauma. Many type-2 trauma's involve an interpersonal relationship and can involve people known to us such as friends, teachers and family. This trauma includes;

Domestic abuse                        Childhood abuse/neglect
torture                                      


Abuse

Abuse can come in more than one format and affect people in a variety of different ways. It can be verbal, physical, emotional, sexual or financial and it is seen when an individual intentionally tries to hurt or harm someone. 

Abuse can occur as a one off incident or as repeated incidents over a period of time. It leaves the victim of abuse feeling overwhelmed, confused, scared and isolated.

Around 1 in 3 adults in the UK report having experienced one or more traumatic events. 
3 in 100 people may develop PTSD
of those with PTSD type disorders; 4 in 5 will develop a secondary mental health issue (patient.info)

Impact

The impact of trauma is very diverse and wide ranging but can be split in to three areas; thoughts/emotions and behaviour. PTSD will affect many or all of these areas and how it manifests is totally dependent on the event and individual.

In short, PTSD can cause the following;

flashbacks, avoidance behaviour
feeling on edge
feeling tense/nervous
insomnia
concentration difficulties
tiredness
aches and pains
anxiety 
depression
disgust
anger
shame
guilt
emotions feel overwhelming
feeling vulnerable or powerless
feeling unloved/helpless
no support
suppression of memories
dissociation
substance or alcohol misuse

PTSD and CPTSD can only be diagnosed through a qualified professional and this list is in no way diagnostic. Trauma related disorders have multiple manifestations some of which are not always apparent to the individual. It is important to seek medical advice if you feel you may be suffering from a trauma related disorder - research has shown that the quicker access to recovery equates to ability to heal with unresolved or repressed trauma being extremely difficult to navigate.

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