Trauma and PTSD


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. For some people, the effects of trauma are lasting, causing a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, or confusion.

Posttraumatic stress is the psychological reaction to a severely stressful and physically threatening event that often results in stress far after the event has passed causing 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.

Psychotherapy is the most effective form of treatment for healing from the effects of trauma. Therapy or counseling can help people who have experienced trauma and those diagnosed with PTSD make sense of their experiences and feelings, develop plans to stay safe, learn healthy coping skills, and connect with other resources and support.