Typically when we think of trauma, we may think in terms of experiencing physical violence or witnessing the same. While this is certainly true in some cases, there are psychological sources of trauma as well.
Trauma is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as, “the emotional response someone has to an extremely negative event.”
Examples of these include:
Due to our past experiences we all process traumatic events differently.
It is important to note that trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible or deeply distressing event. Trauma damages our brain and is an injury not an illness. Our brain actually changes in response to a traumatic experience.
"It is possible to heal from emotional and psychological trauma. As a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, we can work together to leave your trauma behind and help you learn to feel safe again."
- Kristina Polley
Our bodies are adaptive. But when we’re in “fight our flight” mode, we have little in the way of self reflection. In this state, we can be impulsive and lack focus, unable to think of future outcomes.
When your system is aroused for too long, you may have difficulty regulating emotions and behaviors. Symptoms can vary from person to person, however some signs that you may be experiencing traumatic stress are:
Getting triggered does not require that you experience the same stressors (i.e. abuse, abandonment, physical or sexual hurt). Just the repeated perception of threat or a stress-filled environment is adequate. Also, just because we may be afraid does not mean we’re in danger. Our painful past learning is causing us to perceive threats where there may not be any danger.