Dealing with trauma

A trauma is an unprocessed event in the past. It can occur when someone has experienced one or more shocking events. Think of a traffic accident, death, sexual abuse or violence or witnessing violence. But also being bullied or dismissed.
What is it?

People react to such events with all kinds of emotions, such as sadness, fear, anger, guilt. These are normal reactions to such events. Often, these emotions subside. If the events continue to bother you, it is called trauma. 


There are two different types of trauma. In the first kind, something happened once that was traumatic for you. This is called a single trauma. In the second kind, you had several unpleasant experiences over a longer period of time. This is called multiple or complex trauma. 

You can suffer from trauma in different ways. Think of reliving the event during flashbacks and/or nightmares. This can be very unpleasant and cause a lot of anxiety and stress/strain symptoms. In addition, you may start avoiding certain situations and thoughts to deal with your stress and anxiety. Concentration and irritability are also common complaints. Moreover, with multiple trauma, an anxiety disorder or negative self-image may also develop. 


What can you do yourself? 

Although putting it away seems like a good idea at first, the problems often come back harder later. Don't keep running with it. Talk about it with people you trust and seek help. Trauma is often treatable. Depending on the type of trauma, it requires more or less intensive treatment. This is usually done with EMDR. See your general practioner for a referral. 

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