What is Trauma? Types and Symptoms

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What is Trauma? Types and Symptoms

a patient with PTSD

Psychological trauma is a response to an incident that causes deep physical, emotional, or psychological harm. This can include events like natural disasters, wars, serious accidents, etc.

The affected person might feel physically threatened or experience extreme stress. In many cases, individuals might not know how to respond or be in denial about it. As a result, trauma can lead to a wide range of symptoms that can be psychological, emotional, and physical.

With proper treatment and prescription drug assistance, you can find ways to manage these symptoms effectively.

Keep reading to find out more.

What You Need to Know About Trauma

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), trauma is “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident.”

In saying that, an individual can experience trauma from any event that can cause severe stress. Those who experience such events might feel various emotions that affect them in the long term. These aren’t just emotional symptoms like shock or helplessness but also physical ones.

Types of Traumas

There are various types of traumas that can negatively impact an individual’s life. The symptoms and complications resulting from these traumas are often debilitating and prevent people from executing day-to-day tasks.

If symptoms persist, the trauma might develop into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Here are some types of traumas you should know.

Acute Trauma

This trauma can result from a singular traumatic event that lasts for a brief duration. Some examples include car crashes or physical assaults. People who experience these kinds of traumas might also develop acute stress disorder or PTSD.

Chronic Trauma

This type of trauma occurs from repeated or prolonged exposure to extremely stressful events. For example, domestic violence or bullying. People with this kind of trauma also experience trust issues, which can be detrimental to their relationships and career.

Complex Trauma

Unlike other types, complex trauma involves multiple and various traumatic accidents that take place over longer periods of time. When someone experiences a traumatic event, it stimulates the limbic system in the brain, which releases stress hormones to prepare the body for a fight-or-flight response.

However, those with complex trauma have a constantly triggered limbic system. This means that the individuals are constantly in survival mode.

Symptoms of Trauma

Trauma symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms largely depend on the traumatic event.

In saying that, the following are the most common symptoms of trauma.

Psychological Symptoms

  1. Anger
  2. Anxiety
  3. Confusion
  4. Denial
  5. Depression
  6. Difficulty in concentrating
  7. Fear
  8. Guilt
  9. Numbness
  10. Sadness
  11. Shame

Physical Symptoms

Various physical responses might occur either short-term or long-term after trauma.

  1. Digestion issues
  2. Fatigue
  3. Feeling jumpy
  4. Headaches
  5. Heart racing
  6. Sweating


a person holding medicines

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