Trauma is an emotional response to an intensely negative, or traumatic, event. Trauma may be physical or mental/emotional in nature. Events that may cause trauma include violent crimes such as rape or a significant assault, physical or sexual abuse, serious accidents, and natural disasters to name but a few. News events such as school shootings can often be traumatic for children, even if they did not experience it in person.

Immediately following a traumatic event, a person may be in shock or denial because of an inability to actually face the situation in that moment. In cases of physical trauma, individuals may not yet even feel pain as a result of shock, or they may find they have emotionally disassociated from the traumatic event, feeling numb. Longer-term responses to trauma can include an inability to maintain healthy relationships, unshakeable flashbacks, intense headaches, and more.

Trauma can result in a number of “trauma and stressor-related disorders” including reactive attachment disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, and adjustment disorders.  Those who socially isolate after a traumatic event are at higher risk of developing a mental illness.

Treatment for trauma can include a combination of medicines and psychotherapy.  For example, medicines can help resulting anxiety or depression.  Psychotherapy can help the person process the trauma and its impact to them in a safe environment.

Articles and additional resources are provided here for victims of traumatic events and for the people who are there to support them.

The above summary by MyHope.