What is trauma?
Stress is normal. It helps us rise to meet the challenges of the day, and it’s balanced out by things like relaxation and socialization. This is what helps us manage life’s complications on a day-to-day basis.
But sometimes our stress response overwhelms our ability to cope. This is called trauma. Trauma isn’t always caused by an accident or injury – it can also be emotional. Trauma can result from exposure to violence, or from disruptive events like the loss of a family member. Or, it can be caused by a series of small events, such as abuse, that happen over a period of time.
A common response to trauma is to think there’s something wrong with you. But trauma is simply the result of a natural process. When an event pushes us out of our normal zone of resilience, our nervous system gets thrown off balance. Sometimes, life throws us so far off balance that it’s hard to recover on our own, and we need some help to feel like ourselves again.
What are the causes of trauma?
Trauma is not defined not by the event itself, but by our response to it, which can vary from person to person. Sometimes trauma carries over from childhood. Studies show that adults who have experienced childhood trauma suffer from higher levels of obesity, heart disease, unintended pregnancy, substance abuse, and depression. Trauma can be caused by:
War or political upheaval
Sexual violation or abuse
Intimate or social betrayal
Domestic or community violence
Racism, sexism, homophobia and bullying
What are the symptoms of trauma?
Fluctuations in appetite
Hypervigilance - always feeling on alert
Fight, flight or freeze (dissociation)
Trouble connecting with others
Hypersensitivity to loud noises or other sensory stimulation
Physical problems like headaches or stomach pain
Can therapy help with trauma?
If you’re having difficulty dealing with something traumatic in your life, know that there’s nothing wrong with you – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. You deserve to feel well!
Therapy can help you re-center and rediscover life’s joys. Start by talking to one of our professional therapists today.