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  • Writer's pictureGillian Padgett

What is Trauma?

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Trauma is a response to an event that causes extreme shock.

Being involved in a serious car accident, a house fire, childhood abuse, being attacked on the street, screamed at or raped are all experiences that would be shocking at the time and could impact the brain, causing mental, emotional and physical traumatic reactions that can be long lasting, unless they are handled appropriately.

Responses to trauma may include:

Disassociation, panic attacks, flashbacks, sleeplessness, digestive issues, tension, anxiety, depression, violent mood swings, fear, difficulty relating with people, inability to hold down a job.

Who experiences Trauma?

Almost anyone can be traumatized at some time in their life. Here are some examples:

  • A traffic cop who had been through rehab after being shot at a traffic stop was ready to return to work until he had a panic attack when he went near the scene of the crime.

  • The first 24 hours after I was in a car accident I couldn’t close my eyes without having terrifying flashbacks of what I saw and heard just before the impact.

  • A university student experiencing difficulty studying found that memories of previously suppressed childhood abuse were interfering with her peace of mind.

  • Attacked on public transport, a young woman lived in fear of going outside her home.

Flames, flashing and banging fireworks, the smell of smoke, the sound of a car exhaust or slamming door can all trigger frightening memories and unexpected reactions for war veterans, fire crews and emergency personnel.

Disaster response teams and medical personnel are often in shocking and horrifying, situations. But they have to be strong and carry on as part of a team. Often, many months later, when they are feeling safe, the shock and trauma rises to the surface.

How do you know if you have hidden trauma?

Ask yourself:

  • Are there people, situations or memories that make me feel uncomfortable?

  • Do I react unexpectedly at times – extreme anger, or withdraw from people or situations?

  • Do I get panic attacks or flashbacks?

If you believe recent or past trauma is holding you back:

Spend a week to 10 days attending to wellness fundamentals:

  • Breathe and relax 2-3 times a day

  • Drink water and eat healthily

  • Create and follow a sleep routine (aim for 7 hours sleep a night)

  • Stretch and walk 3-5 times a week

If you still feel there is trauma to clear:

Take advantage of limited spaces available and book a Free Discovery Session with me. There will be no pressure. Let’s see how I can help you to get back on track and be stress free.

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