Trauma is an event that severely threatens our physical survival or safety or our emotional and psychological integrity and safety. A traumatic event frightens or shocks us, endangers our long-term well-being, causes us to fear for our life, safety, or sanity, or causes deep emotional pain, confusion, or fear.

Trauma probably affects most people at some point in our lives–we may experience a car accident, suddenly lose a loved-one to death, experience a criminal act (armed robbery, sexual assault, etc.), be subject to serious emotional or physical abuse, live or serve in a place where war or terrorism occur, or in some other way be subject to intense fear, either for a moment or for a long period of time. Some people experience repeated trauma (such as victims of repeated abuse as a child, people who live in war zones, etc.).

Many people recover from trauma through the support of family and friends and bounce back with great resiliency. For others, the recovery process is a longer journey and for some, the support, guidance, and assistance of professionals is fundamental to their healing.

Many trauma survivors suffer in silence, believing that their severe depression symptoms, suicidal urges, depersonalization, derealization, and auditory hallucinations mean that they are “crazy.” In fact, these symptoms as well as those of panic attacks, hypervigilance, social phobia, self-mutilation, eating problems, recurring nightmares, flashbacks, and substance abuse are often the result of trauma. We treat all these symptoms as we process the traumatic events.

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Have You Been Deeply Affected by Trauma?

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