Trauma is an emotional response to an event or situation where individuals felt under attack or feared for their lives. There are two types of traumatic scenarios; big ‘T’ and little ‘T’ trauma.
Big ‘T’ trauma could be encountered due to a serious accident, war, natural disasters, sexual violence, serious injury, or life-threatening experiences. Meanwhile, little ‘t’ trauma are distressing events that negatively affect people but don’t fall under the big “T” category. Examples could include emotional abuse, chronic illness, non-life-threatening injuries, bullying, or the loss of a loved one.
Human beings are highly resilient. We can frequently cope under tremendous strain and stress. However, people respond to different situations uniquely, and what one person may find distressing, another may be able to cope with. Therefore, the key to understanding trauma is focusing on how it has affected the individual rather than the event itself.
People living with PTSD struggle to differentiate between the past and present. This sees them haunted by their traumatic experiences. Associations with the event, such as memories, certain people or places, and smells or sounds, can trigger the individual to return to the past trauma. As a result, any corresponding feelings will powerfully re-emerge.
The symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD vary in intensity and can change over time. Some people experience chronic severe issues that impact their everyday lives, while others may have periods where the symptoms disappear altogether. Some may only occur when facing stress, difficulty, or as a result of triggers.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
While these feelings are typical, they make it difficult for the person to live a fulfilling life in the present day.
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