types of trauma

Understanding The Different Types of Trauma

Around 70% of adults in the United States have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once during their lives, according to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. That equates to more than 220 million people, highlighting how common trauma is.

A traumatic event can be defined as an incident that causes a person emotional, physical, psychological, and/or spiritual harm. As a result of the experience, a person may feel extremely frightened or physically threatened.

There are many different types of trauma, which will be the focus of this blog post. Here, we will take a look at some of the most common types of trauma, including Type 1 traumas and Type 2 traumas.

Understanding Type 1 Trauma

A Type 1 trauma can be defined as a single-incident trauma that is completely unexpected. Type 1 traumas are also referred to as acute or shock traumas. There are many different types of Type 1 traumas, including:

  • Traumatic loss
  • Violent assault
  • Robbery or mugging
  • Military combat incident
  • Road traffic accident
  • Witnessing a natural disaster
  • Sexual assault
  • Severe injury or illness
  • Hospitalization
  • Childbirth
  • Witnessing a terrorist attack
  • Medical trauma

Type 1 traumas are incredibly common. For example, a woman in the United States is beaten every 15 seconds.

There are a number of different symptoms that a person may experience following a Type 1 trauma. These include normal stress response, acute stress disorder, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), uncomplicated PTSD, and comorbid PTSD.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder  is an official diagnosis that many different types of trauma are often classified under.  PTSD  may occur for a person who has witnessed or experienced a traumatic event.  People who suffer from PTSD may feel a heightened sense of danger, which can result in them feeling fearful or stressed, even when they are in a safe situation.

PTSD has long been associated with war veterans and was previously known as battle fatigue or shell shock. While it is common among combat veterans, it can happen to anyone at any age.

Symptoms of PTSD are divided into 4 different categories. These are intrusion; avoidance; arousal and reactivity; and cognition and mood. A person with PTSD may experience agitation, depression, headaches, panic attacks, lightheadedness, and difficulty with sleep.

Understanding Type 2 Trauma

A Type 2 trauma refers to a trauma that a person may have experienced during their childhood or early development. Whereas Type 1 traumas typically occur out of the blue, Type 2 traumas refer to repeated exposure to traumatic events.

Examples of Type 2 traumas include:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sibling abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional neglect
  • Childhood emotional abuse
  • Coercion
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Overly strict upbringing
  • Bullying (including at home, school, or work)
  • Long-term misdiagnosis of a health problem

Many Type 2 traumas are referred to as little “t” traumas. While they may not necessarily involve disaster or violence, they still can result in significant distress.

Domestic violence, as an example, is a common type of Type 2 trauma in the United States. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, close to 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. Over the course of a year, this equates to more than 10 million people, including both women and men.

Women are far more likely to experience severe intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, and stalking. In the case of severe physical violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims in their lifetime.

When to Seek Professional Help

In terms of seeking professional counseling and support to overcome the symptoms you may be experiencing as a result of a traumatic incident, you should seek help if the symptoms persist and interfere with everyday activities. This may include work performance, difficulty in relationships and managing daily tasks. 

In the case of a child, there are a number of signs that they may require professional help in order to cope with their experience of a traumatic event. These include withdrawal, emotional outbursts, difficulty in sleeping, emotional outbursts, and problems at school.

Managing Traumatic Stress

Counseling is a highly recommended way to restore emotional stability in the aftermath of a traumatic event. At Center of Balance Counseling we provide specific therapy for the treatment of  trauma and PTSD. We have a variety of treatment options including EMDR, one of the most effective evidence based therapies, for trauma treatment. 

It is beneficial to spend time with others in order to avoid becoming withdrawn. For example, it is beneficial to pursue hobbies where you can spend time with other people.

It also helps to communicate the experience and how it is impacting you with family members and friends. Keeping a journal is also recommended.

Taking care of yourself and your well-being is especially important at this time. Eating a healthy diet, getting sufficient rest, performing regular exercise, and avoiding drugs and alcohol are advised.

The aftermath of a traumatic event may also not be the best time to make major life decisions, such as moving to a new location or changing careers.

Understanding The Different Types of Trauma

A traumatic event is an incident that causes harm to a person, be it emotional, psychological, physical, or spiritual. Trauma can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and outlook. There are many different types of trauma, categorized under two headings—Type 1 and Type 2. The impacts of trauma can be life altering both in the short and long term. 

The good news is that help is available. If you would like to learn more about how to heal from trauma, don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our team. Click here to contact us. You can schedule a free consultation to learn about how we can help you with trauma recovery. 

Center of Balance Counseling has multiple locations serving Oregon, Washington, Georgia, and Florida. Book an appointment today to find relief from past traumas.

Secured By miniOrange