Emotional and psychological trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event or situation that breaks your sense of security.
Traumatic experiences often involve a direct threat to life or safety, but anything that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or isolated can result in trauma. While it’s common for most people to deal with fear and anxiety during and immediately after a traumatic event, everyone’s emotional response is unique.
While some people will naturally recover with time, others may continue to experience trauma and stress-related symptoms:
- Psychological, physical, or sexual abuse
- Community or school violence
- Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence
- National disasters or terrorism
- Commercial sexual exploitation
- Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
- Refugee or war experiences
- Military family-related stressors (e.g., deployment, parental loss, or injury)
- Physical or sexual assault
- Serious accidents or life-threatening illness
Some Symptoms of Trauma may include:
Common Emotional Symptoms
- Shock/disbelief or Fear
- Sadness/grief or Guilt / Shame
- Helplessness or Anger
Common Physical Symptoms
- Dizziness, faintness, shakiness
- Rapid breathing and/or heartrate
- Racing thoughts
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
- Physical pain (especially stomach and headaches)
- Loss or increase in appetite.Increased substance use/dependence
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, series of events or set of circumstances. An individual may experience this as emotionally or physically harmful or life-threatening and may affect mental, physical, social, and/or spiritual well-being.
Examples include natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist acts, war/combat, rape/sexual assault, historical trauma, intimate partner violence and bullying,
Symptoms of PTSD
Intrusion: Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are reliving the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
Avoidance: Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations that may trigger distressing memories.
People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They may resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it. Alterations in cognition and mood: Inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, negative thoughts and feelings leading to ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”);
Distorted thoughts about the cause or consequences of the event leading to wrongly blaming self or other; ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame; much less interest in activities previously enjoyed; feeling detached or estranged from others; or being unable to experience positive emotions (a void of happiness or satisfaction).
Alterations in arousal and reactivity: Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts.
Behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being overly watchful of one’s surroundings in a suspecting way; being easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.
We offer a Free 20 minute chat to talk things through before we start working together. We have a very relaxed environment in both our clinics in Liverpool and Chester so you will feel safe, comfortable and relaxed before you start to share your thoughts and feelings.