What is trauma?

Trauma is the result of an event/s that overwhelm the child or adult’s ability to cope and integrate the ideas and thoughts of that experience.

Trauma can occur as a result of (but not limited to) a threat to life, bodily injury, or to psychological well being like abandonment of a child.

Children may form beliefs about themselves during trauma, like they are to blame, even though the situation was not their fault. The brain structures (e.g. emotional or limbic system) respond with a life or death response to stress and terror. As humans we use coping strategies to deal with threat, for e.g. freezing, dissociating, etc. all of which improve our chances of survival.

These same strategies and symptoms in later life may interfere with our functioning, for e.g. avoiding relationships, anxiety, panic attacks, forgetfulness, depression, guilt, anger, sleep disorders, etc.

← What is trauma?