Trauma is defined as a deeply emotional response to an event that happened in our past. This can be an event or experience that happened once, or happens repeatedly. Typically, at the time of the trauma, there is a loss of feeling of control. For a long time, in the world of psychology and within our culture, trauma was defined as something so out of the ordinary and severe that we limited the acknowledgement of these events to experiences of war, rape, severe abuse, natural disasters and devastating accidents. Now we understand that the symptoms of trauma are related to how an individual processes something that felt deeply overwhelming and impactful to them.
An emotional response can include quite a significant range of experiences that are based uniquely on the individual. Typically when the precipitating event occurs, there is often an immediate response that includes shock and denial. This response is designed by our nervous system to help us manage the intensity of the emotional pain occurring and helps us move into a place of survival. It is only later that the long term effects of the trauma set in.
Some of the responses that may indicate you are having a trauma response can include: