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94. What Defines Trauma?


According to American Psychological Association (APA) trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like and accident, rape or natural disaster. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches and nausea. Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a symptom of it.

Trauma is much more than that. All of us understand and process it differently. Trauma can happen at any age and time. When it comes to refugees many of their lives have been shattered by permanent memories or flashbacks of different horrors in their lives. These horrors alter the brain growth and structure of a child, and can mark them for life. Example below:

Sanna grew up learning her parents tasks. They were both funeral directors and Sanna learned early on in life to apply make up for the deceased. It was normal for her [horrific for us]. Her mother washed and dressed the bodies while she watched. Sanna was proud of her ability to distance herself from this task she did almost on daily basis. This soon changed.

Sanna's was involved in a severe car accident herself. The driver, who was her close friend, died beside her. Sanna was left with a permanent physical disfigurement. Sanna developed psychological disfigurement, PTSD. She saw death very differently than before. It was no longer normal; it was horrifying for her. She now saw death with different lenses. Sanna began to see nightmares of her deceased friend's passing. She dreamed of that moment of impact constantly and withdrew from others, as she believed no one could understand her. Sanna, who was a moderate drinker, began to drink and party even harder to suffocate her sorrow. She hid her brokenness and despair. Pride does that.

Sanna received help through counselling a decade after this horrific accident. She received much support, encouragement, insight, understanding and new tools to receive inner healing for her painful journey. Sanna wished she would have journeyed through the pain sooner as it took so much of her self away - for the ten years she tried to stuff her pain! Sanna learned she was worthy to be loved and treasured just as she is.

Are you there now? Please contact me for counselling through the Facebook to begin a journey of healing! Please mark "like" if you liked this post and share freely. Blessings!