What do we call a trauma?
In the affected individuals, a trauma is an overwhelming experience that triggers fear, panic, helplessness and the sense of having their life threatened. A trauma can become a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which in turn can lead to illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders, as well as somatic diseases, if it is not treated.
Symptoms may manifest in the form of uncontrolled images and thoughts, as well as in strong physical reactions, when you think about the event. Another consequence may be nightmares and sleep disorders. However, the consequences of trauma often have an effect on the interpersonal domain. Feelings of alienation make it more difficult for you to deal with other people. You feel insecure and isolated. You sometimes feel numb and cut off from others, and then are flooded in turn by memories so that relaxed and pleasurable moments are rare and you do not feel safe in your body and your life.
There are two types of trauma: Type I traumas are one-time events such as an accident or attack. Type II events are multiple traumatizations such as domestic violence or torture. If you were subjected to a long-lasting traumatizing situation as a child, this is called a developmental trauma. A distinction is made here between the cases of neglect and abuse. Neglect means that your basic psychological and physical needs such as protection, affection, food and cleanliness were not, not adequately or not reliably fulfilled. These abuse situations may be psychological or physical in nature. They include humiliation and debasement but also verbal violence. Physical abuse is when you were sexually abused or subjected to physical violence.
The symptoms of both complex trauma and developmental trauma are diverse. Depressions, borderline disorders, fear or panic attacks, pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, low self-esteem and self-hatred, etc. may develop. Since complex traumas are always also relationship traumas, the consequences may also be apparent in difficulties that arise when interacting with others.
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