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What is psychological trauma?

Psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security. These events are stressful as they over-stimulate the senses to the extent that our strategies for overcoming overtax our normal coping mechanisms. Intense fear, extreme feelings of helplessness and loss of control produce a confusing emotional shock which deeply affects the cognitive functions, controlling and regulating the body.

Types of trauma:

  • Mono-trauma: Experiencing one traumatic event
  • Multiple trauma: Experiencing a series of traumatic events
  • Sequential trauma: Experiencing the same traumatic event repeatedly for a period of time
  • Developmental/Complex (Childhood) trauma: Experiencing traumatic events during childhood

 Types of traumatic events:

  1- Big t-trauma

  • War-actions
  • Criminal actions: sexual abuse and rape, misuse, extreme neglect, torture, kidnapping and other crimes of violence such as  armed robbery or murder
  • Natural catastrophes/traffic accidents: Earthquakes, tornadoes, fire, flooding/ disasters with trains, aircrafts and ships
  • Accidents and diseases
  • Invasive medical operations (Intensive care unit)
  • Sudden loss of someone close and social security

  2- Small t-trauma

 Incidents involving fright, humiliation, extreme awkwardness, shame and helplessness.

 After trauma:

 It is important to be around those close to you, and to focus on your basic needs.           

 Help after trauma:

After trauma, many people use their coping mechanisms to help ease the stress. This can be very beneficial at first. When coping mechanisms start to become ineffective and even unhealthy - for instance alcohol or drug use or retreating from family and friends - this might be a good time to seek professional help.


  • There is a wide range of psychotherapy and medication available.
  • It is important to find the right therapeutic approach for you (individual, group etc.).
  • Recovering from PTSD takes time, and varies from person to person. No particular treatment approach is effective for everyone, finding the right one for you might take a while.

 Who can help?

Working through trauma can be painful, and the work is best done with the help of an experienced trauma specialist. A family doctor or a local priest or imam may be able to help you find someone with experience in treating PTSD.

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