Understanding Trauma

Trauma is a kind of psychological injury that follows a significantly distressing event or experience. It involves difficulties in coping and can impair your everyday functioning. For most that experience some traumatic event, with time and support, they recover and will not see any long-term consequences. For others, these events or experiences may stay with them for months or years and cause severe distress and psychological problems.

Traumatic events and experiences are typically life-threatening, or may involve a significant threat to one’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Some examples include natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, cyclones), acts of violence (e.g., robbery, terrorism, war), vehicle collisions, and interpersonal violence (e.g., rape, domestic violence, child abuse). All of these examples involve a perceived threat to one’s life or anticipated harm, and can often involve a lack of control in the situation and elevated stress. There are many other situations that may also be perceived as traumatic and have adverse effects on an individual’s wellbeing.


Trauma can lead to a wide range of symptoms. These experiences depend on the nature of the event and vary from person to person. These symptoms may last from weeks to years.





Getting through trauma: