How do I know if I am traumatised?
The event’s magnitude does not define traumatic memory, but how the body is processing and storing the memory. Compared to memories without trauma, traumatic memories are unprocessed, fragmented within the brain, and disable us from talking about the trauma and remaining calm in our body.
There are different types of trauma, ranging from secondary so-called vicarious trauma (a person develops trauma symptoms from witnessing a traumatic event) to complex PTSD.
Trauma can be further categorised into two groups: either “little t” or “small t” trauma versus “large T” or “big T” trauma. While “big T” trauma is often more intense and acute, “small t” trauma can also have a wide range of adverse effects on people, including depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
“Big T” Trauma versus “small t” Trauma?
A “big T” event is one that most people would consider traumatic and can result from a single stressful or dangerous event, such as a plane crash or sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. In contrast, acute “big T” trauma results from a single traumatic incident, while chronic “big T” trauma results from repeated, ongoing trauma, such as abuse, bullying or domestic violence. A “little t” event is one experienced as traumatic at a personal level, such as the loss of a pet, a relationship breakup, childhood neglect, attachment and relationship problems, parenting issues, work problems, financial problems, school problems, health problems, significant losses, or life changes.
The majority of the people exposed to traumatic events have a brief period of difficulty adjusting and coping. However, with time and healthy coping and a sense of safety, the body can naturally reset, and the trauma resolves. In some cases, post-traumatic symptoms don’t disappear or even worsen with time and may even completely disrupt your life. In these cases, you may be diagnosed with PTSD.
What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?
They usually typically begin within three months of a traumatic event and include:
- flashbacks or reliving the traumatic event
- nightmares about the event and trouble sleeping
- a feeling of shame or guilt
- avoiding to talk or even think about the event
- feeling detached
- anger and irritability
- instable relationships & difficulty trusting people
- self-destructive behaviour, such as drinking
- hopelessness about the future
- memory problems and difficulty concentrating
- being easily startled or frightened
- not enjoying activities you once enjoyed
- avoiding any form of potential danger or unsafe
If you suspect suffering from trauma, please look for a qualified health professional who will professionally assess your trauma symptoms and offer therapy. EMDR therapy is an evidence-based method for” big-T” and “small t” trauma treatment.
Please message me, if you are interested to know more about trauma treatment.