Emotional Trauma

Many things that happen in this world affect you. It may not relate you but still such things may affect you. You will be surprised to know that everything that happens during a day has a direct effect on how you think and feel, and this may influence your thoughts and sometimes your actions. This is called as vicarious trauma also known as secondary trauma. This occurs when you see or hear of an incident happened to someone else and the effects can be as damaging. Many a times you may hear some painful incident happened to some one else and you may not be able to sleep through out the night. You may get dizziness by looking at some one’s dead body or any blood like situation. You may also upset yourself by merely hearing some very painful incident.

Vicarious trauma can be caused by a large variety of happenings and here are some examples: graphic scenes on news, natural disasters like earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, violence and/or horror movies with graphic scenes, a neighbor’s injury or death and the plight of some countries whose people die of hunger. You may feel frustrated or upset. You may notice that you start suffering from insomnia and simply lose yourself. You may lose control over your feelings and may feel helpless. These things mainly lead to emotional trauma.

Science was a bit taken aback when it was discovered that it is not the event that causes emotional trauma, but the way it’s experienced. This gives trauma experienced emotionally something in common with trauma experienced physically. It isn’t how far you fall that matters; it’s how hard you land. For most people, the experience that leads to emotional trauma has three things in common: it was not expected, the victim was not prepared and there was nothing the person could do to prevent it. Also the effect may differ from person to person. Some people may be very sensitive and will experience very high level of emotional trauma.

Brain scan studies have revealed that emotional trauma changes the brain’s structure and function. So it isn’t “all in your mind.” It is really in your brain. This is an important finding, since it places emotional trauma in the realm of physical illness. The patient requires emotional and moral support of family and friends.
The key to knowing when help is needed is in the severity of symptoms and length of time that symptoms last. A doctor will want to know whether the patient is re-experiencing the traumatic event through uncontrollable thoughts, flashbacks, dreams or a re-living of the emotions associated with the event.

The problem is firstly; people do not recognize the problem. Even if they do they are ashamed of asking for help. But it is necessary to take professional help. People in trauma would be strongly subjective about their experience with unfortunate events, and it is most clearly visible in case of disasters where a wide spectrum of the population becomes exposed to the same traumatic experience. Differences in individual temperaments and abilities to cope with stress and disaster will lead to different responses to a given traumatic experience.

Emotionally, symptoms include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, feelings of fear, obsessive behavior, irritability, emotional numbness, and a desire to withdraw from normal activities. Family and friends may notice memory lapses, a difficulty in making decisions, lack of concentration and becoming easily distracted.

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Spinal Cord Trauma
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Vicarious Trauma


Advanced Life Support Trauma
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Coping with Trauma
Dental Trauma
Emotional Trauma
Head Pediatric Trauma
Head Trauma in Children
Head Trauma Symptom
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