The next question is, what are the symptoms of trauma?
First, let’s review the definition of trauma. Trauma is a robust emotional response to a distressing event, such as war, an accident, the unexpected loss of a loved one, or abuse. Trauma can continue to cause both emotional and physical symptoms for many years after the event has concluded.
People who go through these types of extremely traumatic experiences often have specific symptoms and problems afterward. The severity of these symptoms depends on the person, the type of trauma involved, and the emotional support they receive from others.
The range of reactions to and symptoms of trauma can be extensive and varied and differ in severity from person to person. Because of this, we must remember that everyone’s experience with trauma is unique. Some people will develop every sign, while others may develop very few.
There are people who will practice avoidance of trauma reminders, including memories and flashbacks to the traumatic event. Some individuals will have an exaggerated startle response. Others might have distressing dreams and other sleep issues.
Irritability, anger, and other negative emotions are common for trauma victims. As is self-blame regarding the traumatic event. Re-experiencing can damage people’s sense of safety, self, self-efficacy, as well as their ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships.
As you can see, there is a extensive range of symptoms of trauma. Everyone reacts differently. The best thing you can do to help is to learn to recognize the possible symptoms and offer help when needed.