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Arise Counseling, LLC


By: Ardelia Hayward, LCPC

The word Trauma, is a word that has become used, often overused, and even mis-used to describe a feeling or situation.  For example, “I was traumatized to know that Regae-Jean Page wouldn’t be returning in season two of Bridgerton.”  Although it may feel like it, that’s not what trauma or a traumatic event is.   


What is Trauma?  Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event or experience such as, being assaulted, raped, an accident, domestic violence, being bullied, community violence, war, being kidnapped, acts of terrorism, mugging, medical trauma, harassment, a natural disaster.  Although these are examples of a few distressing events, this is not a complete list. 


A traumatic event can also be a response to any event a person feels physically or emotionally threatened. 


Types of Trauma: 

Acute Trauma results from a single dangerous event, for example having your pocketbook snatched by a stranger. 


Chronic Trauma is the result of being repeatedly and or prolonged exposure to a highly stressful event.  Examples would be repeated bullying at school, being in a domestic violent home, and child abuse.


Complex Trauma would be the result of experiencing multiple traumatic events.


Secondary or Vicarious Trauma results from hearing of or witnessing a traumatic event, or by being in a close contact with someone who has experienced the traumatic event.  A mental health professional, family member, or caregivers are at risk of secondary or vicarious trauma.


What are the symptoms of Trauma?

Some of the symptoms are headaches, fatigue, sweating, feeling anxious, racing heartbeat, digestive upset, and these symptoms range from mild to severe. 


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the result of worsening trauma symptoms that interferes with a person’s ability to carry on their daily activities of life and relationships.


Treatments that can assist people cope with their trauma and symptoms include: talk therapy, medication management, exercise, self care, support, developing a balanced lifestyle.



Even if you are experiencing mild symptoms associated with trauma, assistance should be sought with a trained and licensed mental health provider. 


If you are feeling suicidal call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

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