At some point, most of us will live through a traumatizing event. It could be a car accident, a natural disaster, a medical emergency, a fire or perhaps a trauma inflicted by another person in the form of assault, abuse or robbery. Trauma can also come from seeing another person be seriously hurt or learning about something awful that happened to a person we are close to.
Trauma and abuse, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repetitive events, affects everyone differently. The impacts of trauma and abuse can be subtle, devious, or outright destructive. Initial reactions to trauma can include exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, physical arousal, and blunted feelings. Signs of more severe or delayed response include continuous distress without periods of relative calm or rest, severe symptoms, difficulty trusting people or believing the world is extremely dangerous. One can easily end up blaming oneself or seeing oneself as weak or inadequate. Intense intrusive thoughts and flashbacks can also continue long after a return to safety.
If you find that you or someone you care about is struggling to recover from trauma or abuse, don't hesitate to seek professional help.