What is trauma?

Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by both one-off and ongoing events. A one-off event would be something like an accident, natural disaster, or an attack. On-going trauma can result from relentless stressful events, such as childhood sexual, emotional or physical abuse or living in a crime-ridden neighborhood where you never feel safe.

Responses can include:

  • numbness

  • changing emotions such as shock, denial, guilt or self-blame 

  • extreme sadness and crying 

  • mood changes such as irritability, anxiety, tension, negativity, gloom and disinterest

  • difficulty concentrating 

  • repeating memories or bad dreams about the event 

  • distress when something reminds you of the event

  • not socialising, staying away from people, strained personal relationships 

  • physical symptoms such as unexplained aches and pains, nausea, extreme tiredness or loss of energy 

  • changes in eating or sleeping 

  • increased use of alcohol or drugs.

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