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What is Trauma?

What is Psychological Trauma?

Individuals can be become psychologically traumatised if exposed to a potentially threatening or distressing event. This can be something you experience directly or something you witness happen to others. It may be a one off or it may happen many times over a period of time such as sexual abuse. During these events, stress levels can become overwhelming and exceed the level a person can cope with. This can result in a hyper vigilance to perceived threats which are not real and can have a devastating impact on someones live if not addressed.

What causes trauma?

Some of the events/experiences which may cause psychological trauma include:

  • Sexual/physical/emotional abuse as a child or adult

  • War or military service

  • Medical emergencies

  • Accident or injury

  • Bereavement

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Bullying

  • Physical Illness 

  • Rape

  • Violent assault

What does trauma feel like?

Following a traumatic experience or event, trauma causes physical changes to your brain and body and alters how they function, therefore the symptoms experienced are very real. Most importantly however is that these symptoms can be managed with effective counselling, leading to a better quality of life. 

How trauma manifests is very individualised and can affect different people in various ways. Some of the more common symptoms experienced include:

  • Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches​

  • Physical pain

  • Visual or auditory flashbacks

  • Brain fog and poor concentration

  • Mood swings

  • Nightmares

  • Poor memory

  • Panic attacks

  • Emotionally detached

  • Feeling numb

  • Difficulty sleeping. 

There are many other symptoms that can occur as a result of trauma and just because you don't experience any on the above list does not mean the trauma has not impacted you.  

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