Living with trauma can be a difficult experience. As such, it can be useful to research the theory behind it so you can develop a coping strategy. By understanding the theory and learning all you can, it can be easier to pin-point whether you are experiencing trauma. There is no clear answer because it can vary depending on your current situation and your reactions.
Here Miriam Arktar explores how to know you’re experiencing trauma and what exactly makes something a traumatic experience:
‘Historically, and often still today, we tend to think of traumatic events as horrendous one-off incidents, like being the victim of an assault or caught up in an act of terrorism, but they can also involve lower-level repeated incidents. This book is using a wider definition of trauma to include chronic, insidious experiences such as the coercive control involved in abusive relationships, where the relentlessness and stress of the situation can trigger a traumatic reaction. The circumstances may include a betrayal of trust, abuse of power, pain, confusion, entrapment, loss or other negative experiences.
Whether someone is traumatized by what has happened will depend on a wide range of circumstances including their:
• subjective experience of the event – e.g. when someone in an accident believes they are going to die.
• personal circumstances, including any other pressures they are under and if they have recently suffered other traumas.
• physical health, whether they’re in good health or more vulnerable as a result of illness.
• mental health, including coping skills and resilience levels.
• support that they have around them at the time of the incident.
No two people’s experience will ever be the same. Whether it is a one-off incident that leaves you in a state of helplessness and hopelessness or the reaction to a prolonged stress that eats away at your resilience, it’s up to you to decide if it has been a traumatic experience.’
– From #WhatIs Post-Traumatic Growth? by Miriam Akhtar
Which aspect of post-traumatic growth interests you most? Is living with trauma something you are familiar with?
For more detail you can look at #WhatIs Post-Traumatic Growth?
Alternatively, we have a series of blog posts which explores certain aspects of the topics.