Trauma is a distressing event in which a person feels severely threatened emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Most people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives, such as a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster. Many people recover from trauma with time and through the support of family and friends, bouncing back with great resiliency, but for others, the effects of trauma are lasting, causing a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed. Often, the support, guidance, and assistance of mental health professionals is fundamental to healing from trauma.
What Is Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD)?
Posttraumatic stress is the psychological reaction to a severely stressful and physically threatening event that often results in anxiety, flashbacks, hypervigilance, depression, suicidal ideation, and other mental health concerns for an extended period of time. People who experience PTSD may continue to feel afraid or anxious even when no danger is present.