While some of us are quite clear that we have come through a trauma, many of us experience trauma without realizing that the action, event, or behavior qualifies as trauma.
Trauma is a distressing event in which a person feels severely threatened emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Most people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives, such as a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster.
Many people recover from trauma with time and through the support of family and friends. They seem to bounce back with great resiliency. But for others, the effects of trauma are lasting, causing a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or post-traumatic stress far after the event has passed.
If you find yourself avoiding situations or people that remind you of a loss or of a trauma, if you continue to be emotionally numb, depressed, or anxious, if you are using drugs or alcohol to numb uncomfortable feelings, know that such experiences are very human and nothing to be ashamed of. Often, the support, guidance, and assistance of mental health professionals is fundamental to healing from trauma.