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Trauma Series - Part 1 - Definition of Trauma

I'd like to take you on a journey to learn about trauma and get a broad understanding of the complexity that trauma presents. In this series we'll cover:

- Definition of Trauma

- Symptoms of Trauma

- Types of Trauma

- Trauma is Stored in the Body

- Kids and Trauma

- Treatment for Trauma

Trauma is a deeply troubling or distressing event. This could be a death of a loved one, a car accident, a natural disaster, deployment, neglect, abuse, discrimination, and rape. There are a multitude of other sources of trauma. The DSM-V considers trauma to be actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. An important piece is that an individual must have a qualifying component which includes direct exposure, witnessing the traumatic event, or indirect exposure of a family member or close friend. A new criterion was listed for those exposed to repeated outcomes of trauma such as EMTs, doctors, and clinicians that work with the victims

In other words, if you or a relative were a victim of violence, this could be considered trauma. If you heard about someone you didn't know that was a victim of violence, this would not be considered a traumatic event for you.

While a job loss, divorce, illness, or other psychosocial stressors don't qualify as a traumatic event, the circumstances and the undertones of the event may qualify.

It's a complex and personal issue. What may be deemed as traumatic to one person, may have little to no effect on another. Each experience is different and the circumstances of the incidents are different. Was this a one-and-done incident? Did the person have support or were they left to fend for themselves? What other factor played into it? Were there other instances of trauma?

Stay tuned for Part 2 - Symptoms of Trauma

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