The American Psychological Association defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster.”
While that definition is narrow, it is generally accepted that trauma can occur to any form of an event that is physically or emotionally threatening or harmful. There are three distinct types of trauma. They are as follows:
Acute Trauma – This is what most people think of when they think of trauma. This is a result of a single stressful or dangerous event (rape, car accident etc).
Chronic Trauma – This is characterized to ongoing, prolonged, repeated exposure to highly stressful events (soldiers at war, first responders exposure to events, child abuse, domestic violence, bullying).
Complex Trauma – These individuals had been exposed to multiple singular traumatic events.
It is important to note that every individual, is unique, and their symptoms of trauma may range from mild to severe. They may experience physical symptoms like digestive problems, headaches, racing heart, fatigue, sweating to psychological symptoms such as denial, anger, sadness, confusion, anxiety etc. It is critical for people with trauma to receive care. PTSD can develop when symptoms of trauma persist or get worse. Please see Journey Hillside Tarzana PTSD section for further information on PTSD.
First Responder Trauma – Daily work in high stress environments with exposure to traumatic events and with limited time to recuperate before returning to work, First Responders are at incredibly elevated risk to develop Trauma symptoms or PTSD.