Dealing with emotional trauma

Usually a person undergoes trauma when he or she experiences an event which is extremely unpleasant or upsetting, which adversely affects the person mentally. Usually trauma is associated with physical pain, losses caused due to an accident, illness, burglary, robbery, crime or loss of a loved one. However, it can also include a series of incidents which cause pain or unhappiness. Though most people do not realize it, emotional abuse, humiliation, betrayal or discrimination can also cause trauma to a person adversely affecting the attitude of the person over a period of time.

What does emotional trauma feel like?

The reaction of a person to emotional trauma will differ depending on the cause of the trauma, the mindset of the person and the support system. In case of physical pain or losses, the person will have nightmares, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and guilt. In some cases, the person may spend a lot of time thinking repeatedly about the incident. When the trauma is caused by interpersonal problems, like betrayal by a person who was trusted, humiliation, discrimination, the attitude of the person will be affected. The person will find it difficult to trust others and will often feel angry at being betrayed, exploited and cheated.

What are the 3 types of trauma?

The different types of emotional trauma can be classified into different categories based on the extent of the trauma and cause

Acute trauma is the emotional distress that is caused by a single extremely painful or disturbing event. This could be a major car accident that causes injuries or hospitalization, assault, major theft or burglary, abuse. The victim will often find it difficult to focus on the work and feel suspicious of others.

Chronic trauma is caused when mental stress, torture, and physical pain lasts for a longer period of time. Some examples of chronic trauma are domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment at the workplace, bullying, physical and mental abuse at home, illness for a longer period of time. The effect of chronic trauma will usually last for a longer period of time and it is more difficult to recover.

Complex trauma is a more complicated form of trauma that involves interpersonal relationships. The person who is undergoing this trauma feels trapped since the person causing the trauma has planned it well so that it lasts for a long time. This trauma is repeated, so that it adversely affects the self-esteem of the person affected, and makes it difficult to trust others. It affects both the physical and mental health of the victim and makes it difficult for the victim to form long term relationships

How long does emotional trauma last?

After the victim has realized that he or she has suffered from emotional trauma, the challenge for the individual is overcoming it. The duration for which the trauma will last depends on how severe it is, where it is chronic or complex. Usually, people find it easier to forget a single incident while repeated incidents have an impact for a longer time. The attitude of the person to the trauma will also affect the recovery. Having a good support system helps in resolving trauma faster, so complex trauma victims are isolated so that they do not get support.