Trauma and PTSD

Trauma can be described as an event that has caused intense fear, horror or helplessness to a person. A person may feel threaten of their safety and the safety of others.  The event can be experienced, witnessed or vicarious.  There are different events that have been defined as traumatic such as child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, natural disasters, chronic illness, traumatic loss, community and school violence, war among other. Approximately 70% of the US population has experienced one traumatic event in their lifetime and 20% will develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.  This condition leads to feeling numb, distant or cut off from people, intense physical and emotional reactions when reminded of trauma, avoidance of feelings associated with trauma, feeling startled, having angry outbursts, trouble sleeping, hyper vigilance, worried that trauma can happen again, and feeling as if the trauma is happening all over again.  This can lead to difficulties at work, school and relationships.  PTSD can develop months after or even years after the traumatic event has happened.  People can also experience depression, anxiety or panic attacks, somatic symptoms, chronic pain, dissociating sensations as a result of trauma exposure.  Not everybody who has a traumatic experience will develop PTSD.  There are a number of factors that increase the likelihood of developing PTSD such as a lack of support and resiliency, complexity of trauma, re-traumatization, alcohol or drug abuse.  Somebody that has a history of trauma is 6 times more likely to develop depression, anxiety among other.