By Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
If you’ve experienced an extremely stressful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been traumatized. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But with these self-help strategies and support, you can speed up your recovery. Whether the trauma happened years ago or yesterday, you can make healing changes and move on with your life.
What is emotional and psychological trauma? Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
By Amanda Merck Oprah Winfrey is raising awareness about childhood trauma and the need for trauma-informed care. Childhood trauma—like abuse, neglect, and poverty—changes a child’s brain, body and behavior. Behavior is often the [...]
By Giselle Shardlow Now more than ever, teaching mindfulness in the classroom is a necessity. Our children are stressed and anxious. Teachers and parents are stressed and anxious, too. Our lives are busy, [...]
By Jeanne Supin The “fight or flight” instinct has served the human species well, helping us respond quickly to threats, but according to child and adolescent psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry it can [...]
By Maria Popova “A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,” William James asserted in his revolutionary 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings. Two generations later, Rilke wrote in a [...]
By Benjamin E. Saunders, PhD and Zachary W. Adams, PhD The epidemiology of traumatic experiences in childhood is a key context for research, clinical treatment, program management, and policy development. This article discusses [...]