How do you define trauma and what are some of the less common markers of trauma that some people may not recognize?

Q:

How do you define trauma and what are some of the less common markers of trauma that some people may not recognize?

A:

Trauma can be a psychological, emotional and/or physical response to an event or multiple experiences that are distressing and disturbing. Trauma is just a guideline because there are so many things that follow underneath that lens. A few forms of trauma that exist include sexual trauma, complex trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and developmental trauma disorder. There are varying degrees of how these traumas can affect an individual as well as how they can intersect.

I do not believe that any of us have gotten through this thing called life without having some form of trauma within us and or having it affect us. In addition, throughout life it's possible to be working through a combination of different traumas.

A few things that may come up that you do not even realize are related to trauma can be loss of control, which can look like many different things. It can be within actions such as drinking, sex or eating in very large quantities. Out of control means you are doing these things in a way that doesn't make you feel good, and that you are not able to reel in. It can feel as if you are attempting to take control of things but it can also be a form of spinning out. Something else that may come up for someone after trauma can be confusion and/or trouble concentrating. Suddenly, the things that made sense and came easily to you are much harder. It may also be hard to recall and retain information.

Trouble sleeping can also be something that may suddenly appear and/or get increasingly worse before addressing a trauma. There may even be an increase of dreams and/or vivid nightmares can be a side-effect after trauma that may not be something that one would think is related.

Again, there are many side effects that can appear after trauma. Trauma can affect your thinking, feeling, sensing and behavior. These are just a few things that may come up after dealing with some form of trauma that you may not recognize is happening to you. It may take someone from the outside to provide perspective on how they are related to your trauma.

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Written by Jimanekia Eborn
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Jimanekia Eborn has worked in mental health for the last 10 years, which is where she saw the need for sexual education and sexual trauma support. This has led to her passion for assisting and supporting those that are sexual assault survivors and those without access to comprehensive sex education. Her compassion and passion for these populations has pushed her to continue building safe spaces for clientele, sharing education, and supporting their mental spaces.

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