What Is It?
A trauma can be any experience that you have found deeply distressing and disturbing – these can be when you have experienced an event where your life has been in danger (e.g. being in a serious road traffic accident), your personal boundaries have been violated (e.g. through sexual abuse) or you have been so distressed by a situation that this has caused you psychological harm (e.g. witnessing domestic violence).
Sometimes victims of trauma will be able to accept the incident that has occurred and live life without thinking about it too much, for others the memories can be so difficult to deal with they can develop problems with sleeping, become anxious, frequently feel unsafe and start experiencing nightmares and/or flashbacks. If these problems start within six months of the trauma and last more than a month, it may be described as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you are experiencing PTSD anything that reminds you of the trauma you experience can feel traumatic too, so you might try to avoid it as much as possible.
What Might Help?
- Tell someone: It is really important that you are safe and no longer experiencing trauma, this might mean telling a professional e.g. telling a teacher or contacting the NSPCC.
- Practice relaxation exercises: If you are experiencing flashbacks or bad nightmares, there may be times you feel out of control of your body. Learning to try to stay calm will help you sleep and be helpful in dealing with past memories.
- Seek professional help: People dealing with trauma can benefit from being helped by someone who they develop a therapeutic relationship with and can help them to safely overcome the traumas they have experienced.
Useful Clips and Stories: