What is Psychological trauma
A psychological trauma is a strong persistent negative emotional attachment to a past event or reminders of the event.
Characteristics of a trauma.
A trauma is not the event, it is the emotional response to the event or experience.
If the emotion attached to the experience is positive then the event or experience can not be traumatic no matter how the event is visualised, think of all the people who do extreme sports that are scary and dangerous.
Traumas are learned.
We learn the trauma through repetition and exaggeration of sensory stimuli. Often immediately following an experience the person is not traumatised. This is why the treatment that follows an experience is important, and why trauma based therapies in my opinion do not work except to start that repetition and to re traumatise the client.
Traumas range from very minor to major, and from contextualized to general.
A person may have a fear or phobia of moths but not other insects or spiders, that is contextual. A person suffering PTSD may be distressed most of the time.
Causes of psychological trauma vary.
Problem events in life can cause recognizable traumatic responses such as PTSD. Trauma responses can also happen when a person is very young. These traumas are often repressed or forgotten and can cause pervasive problems with no apparent cause. In other cases a number of small traumas can be linked to create larger traumas.
As you can see from the characteristics listed above in all cases the traumatic event is linked to an emotion, we do not treat the event or experience, by treating or attempting to treat them all we do is re traumatise the client. We work with the emotion that is attached, when you say you are depressed there is an emotion be it sad, fear, anger, hurt. We need to work and deal with the emotion and get to the root of when the emotion was created.
This post only scratches the surface of psychological trauma and emotions.
If you feel you are suffering with any psychological trauma and would like to talk about how to deal with the emotion that is attached to it please feel free to contact me, if I feel that I can not help I have fantastic mentors and people who I can contact at Talking2minds the mental health charity.