Written by Susie Flashman Jarvis
Trauma can occur in our lives due to a variety of circumstances; witnessing the death of loved one or a stranger. It could occur because of abuse when young or an event that resulted in a near death experience. It could be because of rape or an abortion. The truth is that we are all individuals and how we experience stress is unique to each of us as well. However, there are symptoms that we have in common.
The problem with trauma and its effects, is that it manifests itself in a variety of ways and can result in some long-term problems that may need therapeutic support. While trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible event, the effects can be so severe that they interfere with an individual’s ability to live a normal life.
What are the symptoms of trauma?
They are often characterised into four groups: denial, feelings, behaviours and physical effects.
1. Denial: a powerful defence mechanism
2. Feelings: ranging from pointlessness, anxiety, depression, guilt of survival, fear of crowds, fear of recurrence of event, loss of confidence and even the inability to feel at all, i.e. numbness
3. Behaviours: unable to concentrate, impulsivity, disturbed sleep, isolating behaviour, irritability, manic episodes
4. Physical effects: ranging from, headaches, stomach pains, listlessness, hyperactivity, increased drinking of alcohol or drugs and heart palpitations.
Some victims of trauma, may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because we all react to trauma in different ways. Those who do develop it may find that it disappears within some weeks after the event, whilst some PTDS symptoms do not develop until months or years after the event.
Want your own FREE COPY of Great Health Guide
& delivered to your inbox each month?
Look to your right…
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
being on guard – hypervigilant
general symptoms such as depression and anxiety
self-destructive behaviour such as alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, risky sexual behaviour
life-threatening behaviour such as driving at extreme speeds.