Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.
Trauma is divided into three main types: acute, chronic, and complex.
Acute trauma: This results from a single stressful or dangerous event.
Chronic trauma: This results from repeated and prolonged exposure to highly stressful events. Examples include cases of child abuse, bullying, or domestic violence.
Complex trauma: This results from exposure to multiple traumatic events.
Trauma divides in type 1 and type 2:
There are two types of reactions to trauma. Type 1 trauma reactions are associated with a discrete, relatively recent event. Type 2 trauma reactions are characterized by repeated or extended trauma over the lifespan, and typically are experienced by persons with a history of abuse in destructive families.
What is the difference between big T and Little T trauma?
While large T trauma is more intense and acute, small t trauma can also have a wide range of negative effects on young adults—including depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
The DSM-5 defines a PTSD trauma as any situation where one’s life or bodily integrity is threatened; these are typically large ‘T’ traumas. While small ’t’ traumas for the most part would not lead to the development of pure PTSD symptoms, it is possible that a person can develop some trauma response symptoms.
How do you identify trauma?
Symptoms of psychological trauma:
Shock, denial, or disbelief.
Confusion, difficulty concentrating.
Anger, irritability, mood swings.
Anxiety and fear.
Guilt, shame, self-blame.
Withdrawing from others.
Feeling sad or hopeless.
Feeling disconnected or numb.
How do you treat trauma?
Help identify ways to relax. Face situations, people and places that remind them of the traumatic event— not to shy away. Take the time to resolve day-to-day conflicts so they do not build up and add to their stress. Identify sources of support including family and friends.
Common Therapy Approaches to Help You Heal from Trauma:
Pharmacotherapy. Pharmacotherapy is the use of medications to manage disruptive trauma reactions. …
Behavior Therapy. …
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. …
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) …
Psychodynamic Therapy. …
How trauma (events) affects our thoughts:
Every event will led to a thought, consequently, every thought will led to an emotion and finally to a particular behavior. This is called the triad of mental health.
How does trauma affect the hypothalamus?
Hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates many of your body’s functions including hunger, sexual responses, and physical reactions to stress. In survivors, the feedback loop from the body to the hypothalamus can become disrupted, meaning that a survivor can get stuck in a chronic state of stress.
Can a traumatic event affect the amygdala?
When affected by PTSD, the amygdala becomes hyperactive. Those who suffer from emotional trauma will often exhibit more fear of traumatic stressors than others. Often, stimuli can trigger over activity in the amygdala if somehow connected to the traumatic event a person suffered from.
“Can emotional trauma cause brain damage?”
Studies have shown that PTSD actually does affect the functions of the brains in multiple ways. The three areas of the brain that are impacted the most are the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex.
New Study Shows Brain Change After Psychological Trauma
Research on important findings in earthquake survivors with and without PTSD.
The brain on PTSD
Given how diverse PTSD is, as is the case with all disorders involving the brain, we don’t have a detailed understanding of what actually happens to cause different kinds of PTSD at different time points. To date, most research has looked at a mixed group of patients with mostly chronic PTSD, with a variety of changes throughout the brain.
The areas of the brain identified to be different in PTSD include the hippocampus, which deals with our memory and sense of self; the amygdala, a main emotion center of the brain emotional systems (limbic system) and a key player in the brain’s state at rest; and the anterior cingulate cortex, which is a key hub in networks for emotion and thought, learning, conflict-resolution, and, notably, top-down control of the limbic system via direct connections with the amygdala.
These brain areas are involved in altered network activity for people who suffer from PTSD, with changes seen in the brain’s resting “default mode network” and the difference in what people with PTSD look for in the environment, in the “salience network.”
Various studies of chronic PTSD have shown conflicting brain anatomical, functional, and metabolic findings in some of the same brain areas, for reasons which are not yet understood.
1. As Mark Blechner, PhD calls it in his work on the neuroscience of dreaming in The Mindbrain and Dreams: An Exploration of Dreaming, Thinking, and Artistic Creation
Xiaorui S, Chunchao X, Wang W, Huaiqiang S, Qiaoyue T, Simin Z, Lingjiang L, Kemp G, Qiang Y and Qiyong G. Abnormal metabolite concentrations and amygdala volume in patients with recent-onset posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, online 11 August 2018.