Feeling Unsafe?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION about trauma

I had a traumatic experience but I do not feel TRAUMATISED, is this normal?

Yes this is normal. Many people cope well and adjust in healthy ways after having experienced a traumatic event. However some people may be in denial of their trauma experience and how it has affected them.

How do I know that i am suffering from psychological trauma?

Identify traumatic events or experiences you might have had in the past. Ask yourself how have you coped with these experiences. If you still feel distressed and overwhelmed by recalling these experiences you  may suffer from the effects of psychological trauma.

How do i deal with psychological trauma?

The best way to deal with psychological trauma is to get professional help and support.

How long does it take to overcome psychological trauma?

Overcoming psychological trauma can take anything from a few weeks to many years.

Does being TRAUMATISED make me a weak person?

No. Many people feel the negative effects of psychological trauma. Being traumatised does not mean that you are week or abnormal in any way.

Who is best to help me deal with trauma?

A trained professional trauma counsellor or therapist is the best person to help you deal with trauma.

How do i support somebody who suffers from psychological trauma?

To best support somebody suffering from psychological trauma:
  • Offer a listening ear. (You can talk to me, I am here for you.)
  • Respond empathically. (This must be very difficult for you.)
  • Be accepting of their feelings. (I can imagine how you could feel that way.)
  • Encourage them that their personal safety and wellbeing matters. (You need to keep yourself safe and look after your own wellbeing.)
  • Validate their strengths. (You have been able to cope with a lot, I believe in you that you will also be able to get through this.)
  • Encourage connection. (You do not have to go through this alone, There are others that can support you.)
  • Connect them with support systems. (NGO's helping people deal with trauma.)
  • If trauma feelings remain overwhelming encourage them to seek professional support and guidance. (I can see that this is still difficult for you to deal with, maybe you should consider reaching out for some professional guidance and support.)
  • If they are feeling suicidal or verbalise suicidal thoughts call an emergency support line immediately. Life Line Aotearoa 0800 543 354

What are the 7 steps of trauma recovery?

  1. Acknowledge (Acknowledge the effects of the trauma)
  2. Identify (What caused the trauma)
  3. Accept (Accept that what has happened is real)
  4. Respond (Get help from professionals, NGO's or support groups)
  5. Reprocess (Work through the trauma)
  6. Reconnect (Build healthy connections with yourself, others and the community)
  7. Reinvest (Become meaningfully involved by reinvesting in yourself, others and the community)

How do i deal with psychological trauma?

The best way to deal with psychological trauma is to get professional help and support.

How do i support somebody who suffers from psychological trauma?

To best support somebody suffering from psychological trauma:
  • Offer a listening ear. (You can talk to me, I am here for you.)
  • Respond empathically. (This must be very difficult for you.)
  • Be accepting of their feelings. (I can imagine how you could feel that way.)
  • Encourage them that their personal safety and wellbeing matters. (You need to keep yourself safe and look after your own wellbeing.)
  • Validate their strengths. (You have been able to cope with a lot, I believe in you that you will also be able to get through this.)
  • Encourage connection. (You do not have to go through this alone, There are others that can support you.)
  • Connect them with support systems. (NGO's helping people deal with trauma.)
  • If trauma feelings remain overwhelming encourage them to seek professional support and guidance. (I can see that this is still difficult for you to deal with, maybe you should consider reaching out for some professional guidance and support.)

What are Adverse childhood experiences?

Adverse childhood experiences include exposure to emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, emotional or physical neglect, and house hold dysfunction such as having a family member who had been incarcerated, with substance use concerns, with a history of mental illness, parental separation or divorce, or having a mother who was treated violently.

What are the different types of trauma?

Trauma can result from different types of experiences including: 
  • Medical trauma
  • Relational trauma
  • Catastrophic event 
  • Natural disaster
  • Intergenerational trauma

What are the different types of medical trauma?

Medical trauma can have an adverse effect on your mental wellbeing and cause psychological trauma. Medical traumas include:
  • Severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Severe anaphylactic (allergic) reaction
  • Conditions related to a near-drowning
  • Loss of limb 
  • External and internal head injuries
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Terminal illness
  • Surgery complications
  • Serious physical injury due to accident 
  • Life changing diagnosis

What is INFIDELITY trauma?

Infidelity trauma is a type of relational trauma that involves the breaking of trust in a romantic relationship. Infidelity trauma can cause significant lasting psychological distress. 

Can psychological trauma cause physical symptoms?

Psychological trauma could make you more vulnerable to developing physical health problems, including long-term or chronic illnesses. Psychological trauma could also compromise your ability to make healthy lifestyle choices which could in turn adversely affect your physical health. 

Is the death of a loved one a form of psychological trauma?

Yes. The death of a loved one is a form of psychological trauma. The death of loved ones or close associates fall under the psychological trauma type of traumatic losses. 
A traumatic loss occurs when somebody you were close to and/or emotionally attached to dies. The death of a loved one or close associate disrupts our sense of connectedness and leaves a void in our lives. 
The loss also disrupts the core psychological needs of belonging and connectedness. 

Can trauma have a positive impact on my life?

Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) A theory introduced in 1996 by Lawrence Calhoun, Ph.D. and Tedeschi, Ph.D., Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) signifies a positive change in yourself as a result of the traumatic event that has happened in your life.
These positive changes can be in the form of:
  • spiritual transformation by reflecting on the purpose and meaning of life;
  • personal strength by becoming more confident and courageous in facing future challenges;
  • appreciation and value for life by finding joy in simple things;
  • new life possibilities by evolving, innovating, and adapting to recent changes; or
  • better relationships with others by having a solid support system from families and friends and providing the same degree of support to those who need it.

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