What is trauma?
A traumatic event can involve a single experience, or an enduring or repeating event or events. It could be the result of physical, sexual or emotional abuse in childhood or adulthood, an accident, an attack, rape, sudden loss, or being caught in wars, earthquakes or other natural disasters.
The feelings overwhelm the person’s ability to deal with the feelings and thoughts associated with that experience. They may not be able to face their feelings for years or decades – and can sometimes turn to self-destructive behaviours or substance abuse to keep the feelings contained until they’re able to deal with them. They may experience flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, dissociation and a sensation of being numb.