Psychological trauma, although often triggered by a single traumatic incident in a person’s life, can also be the result of ongoing and stressful situations or repeated events. Catastrophic natural events such as earthquakes and tsunamis can leave individuals suffering from the effects of trauma, as can serious motoring accidents, acts of violence or the witnessing of horrific incidents. Sexual abuse and physical violence are two quite typical and serious causes of psychological trauma, and it is not uncommon for those affected to bury the events deep within themselves to avoid having to face the feelings that they provoke.
Flashbacks of the traumatic event and nightmares are common in trauma sufferers, who may also suffer from extreme anxiety and panic attacks, paranoia, detachment and feelings of disassociation, problems with uncontrolled anger, low self-esteem, substance abuse as a means of hiding from the feelings and depression.
Trauma is not directly caused by events or situations, but rather by an individual’s response to what has happened, hence why two people experiencing the same event or situation might react in entirely different ways.