Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster
When they have experienced trauma or overwhelming life experiences, most people have to let go of parts of their authentic Self (dissociate) and adopt coping strategies in order to survive their specific circumstances as best as they can. While highly adaptive initially – because this blocks out the pain of these experiences at the time – in later life there are often great personal costs attached to these trauma-related, survival-based strategies.
While dissociated, the emotional and physical sensations connected to your past experiences have not been able to be processed and integrated. This can cause very uncomfortable symptoms such as sudden intrusive, overwhelming images or memories, flashbacks and reliving experiences and nightmares. Strong emotional or physical reactions can occur, such as panic attacks, feelings of numbness and detachment, hypervigilance, safety behaviours, guilt, including survivor guilt or dissociative symptoms, such as feeling disconnected from life. Often events in daily life, such as close personal relationships with family or partners, can trigger and intensify these symptoms.
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