Hi everyone, and welcome to our series on overcoming trauma. Today, let’s talk about what trauma actually is and why it’s so vital to understand how it affects everyone, male and female, young and old. Trauma isn’t just about big, dramatic events like war or natural disasters, although those are certainly powerful.  What we need to realize is that it’s about the emotional response we have to any event that feels overwhelming, frightening, or dangerous. This could be a car accident, a violent crime, the loss of a loved one, or even repeated experiences of neglect or abuse.

The key thing is that trauma disrupts our sense of safety and security in the world. It can leave us feeling scared, angry, guilty, ashamed, confused, withdrawn, or any combination of these. These feelings are normal reactions to those events.

But here’s the thing: Often, these feelings don’t go away on their own. They can profoundly affect our daily lives, self-esteem, self-worth, our relationships, and every facet of our lives.  That’s when it’s important to address the traumatic experiences and begin the healing process.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Have you ever experienced an event that felt scary, overwhelming, or dangerous?
  • Do you sometimes struggle with strong emotions like anger, sadness, or anxiety?
  • Do you find yourself avoiding certain situations or people because they remind you of the traumatic event?
  • Do you have problems falling/staying asleep?  Do you have disturbing dreams?
  • Do you ever have ‘panic attacks’?
  • Do certain words or images trigger strong responses, which you or others see as ‘over the top?’

By reflecting on these questions, you can begin to identify if trauma might be playing a role in your life. We’ll delve deeper in next week’s blog post to explore how trauma can manifest.