What is it?

Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a distressing event. It is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. Trauma may result from a single distressing experience or recurring events of being overwhelmed that can be precipitated in weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences.

Because trauma differs between individuals, according to their subjective experiences, people will react to similar traumatic events differently. In other words, not all people who experience a potentially traumatic event will actually become psychologically traumatized. However, it is possible for some people to develop disorder(s) after being exposed to a major traumatic event. This discrepancy in risk rate can be attributed to protective factors some individuals may have that enable them to cope with trauma; they are related to temperamental and environmental factors from among others. Some examples are mild exposure to stress early in life, resilience characteristics, and active seeking of help.

What is the treatment?

Evidence based treatment involves a number of different options.