“Trauma does not have to occur by abuse alone...”
― Asa Don Brown
What is a Traumatic Experience or Event? A traumatic event is an incident that causes physical, emotional, psychological, or mental harm. Traumatic events can result from a serious accident, loss of a loved one, terror, war, divorce/separation/infidelity, violent assault, neglect, rape, a move, natural disasters, physical injury or illness, as well as, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. Following a traumatic event, a person experiences a basic loss of connection to their families, themselves, and the world. Most people who experience traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a brief period of time.
What is PTSD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a group of symptoms that can develop following the witnessing, experiencing, or the indirect hearing of a close friend or relatives experience of trauma. PTSD is generally grouped into four types of symptoms: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in reactions.
Is PTSD normal? PTSD is a normal response to an abnormal situation. Traumatic events that lead to PTSD would frighten or shock most people. When safety or trust is shattered, whether it is through a serious accident, loss of trust, rape, assault, war, etc., it is normal to feel disconnected, numb, and helpless.
How Do I know if I have PTSD? Although people respond to traumatic events in different ways, PTSD can cause an intense physical and emotional response to any thought or memory of the event. It can last for months or years following trauma. According to the DSM-5, people with PTSD may have all or a just a few symptoms from each of the following four categories with different emphasis and severity.
Negative changes in thoughts and mood
Arousal and reactivity