What is trauma?

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Special thanks to Shelly Beach and Wanda Sanchez of PTSDperspectives for this article.

What do people mean when they use the word “trauma”? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines trauma in the following way: Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that are experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that have lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. Events and circumstances may include the actual or extreme threat of physical or psychological harm or the withholding of material or relational resources essential to healthy development. These events and circumstances may occur as a single occurrence or repeatedly over time. The individual's experi ...

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Code 9 Officer needs assistance - Trigger warning

Symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories. Specific symptoms can vary in severity.

  1. Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are re-living the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
  2. Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects and situations that bring on distressing memories. People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They may resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.
  3. Negative thoughts and feelings may include ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”); ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activities previously enjoyed; or feeling detached or estranged from others.
  4. ...

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Beyond the call - Trigger warning!!!

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.

PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, in people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.

People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they ...

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