What does experiencing trauma feel like?

Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, and guilt are common reactions to trauma. However, most people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder. Getting timely help and support can prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and turning into PTSD. A traumatic experience is any event in life that poses a threat to our safety and potentially puts our own life or that of others at risk.

As a result, a person experiences high levels of emotional, psychological, and physical distress that temporarily alter their ability to function normally in everyday life. Trauma resembles anxiety, depression, addiction, self-harm, self-doubt, low self-esteem, eating disorders, or alcohol abuse. Now that I think about it, it seems like everything because our brain and body have no way of cutting cookies to show that we are in pain. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) incorporates elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic stimulation from left to right that can “unfreeze traumatic memories”.

Traumatic experiences usually involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that causes you to feel overwhelmed and isolated can cause trauma, even if it doesn't involve physical harm. Nowadays, mental health therapy is the best way to treat trauma, although it's important to have the right type of counseling. The effects of untreated psychological trauma can be devastating and infiltrate nearly every aspect of a person's life. After learning a lot about trauma in the 1990s, the definition of traumatic events has been further expanded.

While traumatic experiences usually involve life-threatening events, any situation that makes you feel alone and completely overwhelmed can be traumatic, even without physical harm. It is important to note that other situations, less serious but ultimately causing stress, can also cause traumatic reactions in some men and women. It's also important to remember that vulnerability plays an important role in a person's chance of suffering trauma. While emotional trauma is a normal response to a disturbing event, it becomes post-traumatic stress disorder when the nervous system gets “stuck” and you remain mired in psychological shock, unable to make sense of what happened or process your emotions.

These brain scans have revealed that trauma actually changes both the structure and function of the brain. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about trauma. Overcoming trauma can be scary, painful and potentially re-traumatizing, so it's best to do this healing work with the help of an experienced trauma specialist. Remember that this is the result of trauma and may not have anything to do with you or your relationship.

How a person reacts to trauma depends on the type and severity of the traumatic event, whether the person has had any relevant previous experience or training, whether they are active or defenseless, the amount of support available after the incident, other current stressors in the person's life, personality, natural levels of resilience, and any previous traumatic experience.

Ruth Bupp
Ruth Bupp

Total music maven. Infuriatingly humble pop culture advocate. Proud coffee enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble food scholar. Freelance twitter guru. Evil beer junkie.

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