Trauma is caused by negative events that produce distress.
These events can be physical, sexual or emotional in nature. Some of the most common traumatic events include:
- physical, sexual and verbal assault, including childhood abuse
- being threatened with physical or sexual assault
- witnessing violence against others
- long-term neglect in childhood
- accidents and natural disasters
- community violence
- war or political violence.
When thoughts and memories of the traumatic event don’t go away or they get worse, they may lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can seriously disrupt a person’s life.
Trauma can affect how a person feels. He or she may experience:
- too much emotion
- too little or no emotion
- feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness
- shame, fear
- anger, rage
- grief, sadness
- anxiety, panic attacks.
Trauma can affect a person’s ability to have satisfying relationships with others. This may include:
- not knowing how to trust
- having difficulty being close to people
- having problems in sexual relationships
- being afraid of others
- being isolated and withdrawn
- not recognizing when he or she is in a dangerous situation
- not knowing how to give and take in relationships
- repeatedly searching for someone to rescue him or her.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on. At Catholic Family Services we can help you to develop coping strategies and work on exploring helpful supports for your life.