Naar wat ben je naar op zoek?

We distinguish two types of trauma. With the first kind, one time something happened that was traumatic for you. This is called singular trauma. In the second kind, you have had multiple unpleasant experiences over a long period of time. This is called multiple or complex trauma.
However, the impact and symptoms are similar according to the severity of the trauma.

The disorder that can develop from this is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD for short.

Walsha Trauma 250

Everyone experiences the symptoms of trauma differently. In general, you often think back to the situation and have a hard time focusing on reality.

You may also notice trauma in your body. Your body’s stress level is elevated, making you constantly alert. This is sometimes accompanied by an increased heart rate and respiratory rate. So you can always feel rushed for no apparent reason.

Emotional complaints can occur intrusively at any time of the day.

You may suffer from the trauma at different times, both shortly after the event, but also years later when you thought you had processed everything. Trauma also creates other problems, such as depression, anxiety and/or low self-esteem. Addiction problems also occur. For this, you use narcotics to reduce your anxiety(s) and relax. You may also be avoiding certain situations and thoughts to deal with the stress and anxiety.

With trauma, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Flashbacks/nightmares
  • Concentration problems
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Avoidance behavior
  • Fatigue
  • Helplessness
  • Irritability
  • Increased blood pressure/heart rate
  • Likelihood of depression or addiction problems

In single trauma, you experienced something intense once, such as an accident or robbery. You have not yet properly processed this very unpleasant event and this subsequently led to trauma. Single does not mean that this trauma is less severe than multiple or complex trauma. Both kinds can have a lot of grip on your life.

If you experience something unpleasant for an extended period of time or multiple times, there is a chance that you will develop multiple trauma. Examples include recurrent abuse, repeated sexual abuse or being bullied. Because you were dealing with the same trigger multiple times, symptoms can be high in multiple or complex trauma. This often includes other symptoms, such as anxiety disorder, negative self-image or addiction problems. It is possible that multiple or complex trauma affects your character and development because it is “deeper” in your system.

PTSD according to DSM V is described as follows:

Subject has been subjected to actual or threatened death, serious injury and/or sexual assault in one (or more) of the following ways:

  1. It happened to the person directly;
  2. The person witnessed the event;
  3. It happened to an immediate family member or friend of the person;
  4. The person is repeatedly exposed to unpleasant details of the profound event(s) (e.g., police officers repeatedly exposed to the details of child abuse).

Criterion 4 does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, films or images, unless such exposure is work-related (i.e. it does, for example, in the police force).

The following symptoms must be present:

  1. Relive

The traumatic event is continuously relived in one (or more) of the following ways:

  • Repetitive, intrusive memories;
  • Unpleasant dreams related to the trauma;
  • Acting or feeling as if the trauma is taking place again;
  • Violent emotions when someone is reminded;
  • Physical reactions when someone is reminded.
  1. Avoid
  • Persistent avoidance of stimuli related to the trauma, as evidenced by one (or two) of the following symptoms:
  • Avoiding thoughts and feelings;
  • Avoiding places, people, objects and situations.
  1. Negative thoughts and mood

Negative changes in thoughts and mood related to the traumatic event, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following symptoms:

  • Inability to remember parts of event;
  • Negative thoughts about self, others and the world;
  • Distorted thoughts about consequences and cause of the event;
  • Negative emotions (fear, disgust, anger, guilt, shame);
  • Decreased interest and participation in activities;
  • Feeling cut off or alienated from others;
  • Unable to experience positive emotions
  1. Hyperactivation

Persistent symptoms of increased irritability as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:

  • Irritability and temper tantrums;
  • Recklessness and self-destructive behavior;
  • Hyperalertness;
  • Exaggerated startle reactions;
  • Concentration problems;
  • Sleep problems

For all of the above symptoms: they started or worsened after the traumatic event.

The duration of the disorder exceeds one month.

The disorder causes clinically significant suffering or limitations in social or occupational functioning, or functioning in other important areas.

The disorder cannot be attributed to the physiological effects of a substance (such as medication, alcohol) or to a somatic disorder.