What is Trauma?

Trauma is any experience that one perceives as very painful and negatively impacts your present life. It creates extreme stress in the body and mind. Traumas are profoundly distressing or disturbing events. The events that cause such injury can vary significantly from divorce, accidents, illness, death, to extremes such as rape or war. It can be when something happens to you that leaves you feeling distressed, and you are unable to process it for some reason. The effects can be long-lasting and create very negative symptoms. All trauma manifests in physical and sexual or psychological symptoms, which can eventually lead to PTSD.

Symptoms of Trauma

Here is a list of symptoms that can occur from experiencing trauma or life disturbing events:

  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Experience sleep problems such as difficulty falling, staying asleep, or nightmares associated with the trauma
  • Find yourself hyper-vigilant or constantly feeling on-guard
  • Over-react to noises or other environmental cues that didn’t bother you before
  • Find yourself irritable, angry and experiencing outbursts
  • Have nightmares
  • Have recurrent and intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event
  • Act or feel as if the experience is happening again in the present
  • Experience intense psychological distress or physiological arousal when exposed to (internal or external) stimuli that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
  • Experience flashbacks (suddenly feeling as though the event is happening in the present)
  • Attempt to avoid thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
  • Attempt to avoid activities or situations that evoke memories of the traumatic event
  • Find yourself unable to recall an essential aspect of the traumatic event
  • Feel detached or estranged from others and your daily life
  • The sense you’re unable to feel as you once did; you feel numb or spaced out, unable to care or to love
  • Feel less interest and pleasure in activities
  • Feel a sense of foreboding and anticipate a limited future; you don’t expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a long life

As you can see by this list of symptoms, trauma can cause problems for people and be quite disconcerting. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, you might benefit from EMDR Therapy.