Psychological trauma  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
trauma in psychoanalysis

Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. When that trauma leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, damage can be measured in physical changes inside the brain and to brain chemistry, which affect the person's ability to cope with stress.

A traumatic event involves a single experience, or an enduring or repeating event or events, that completely overwhelm the individual's ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience. The sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks or years, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate danger. Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are a few common aspects. It usually involves a feeling of complete helplessness in the face of a real or subjective threat to one's life or to that of loved ones, to bodily integrity, or sanity. There is frequently a violation of the person's familiar ideas about the world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. This is also seen when people or institutions depended on for survival violate or betray the person in some unforeseen way.

Psychological trauma may accompany physical trauma or exist independently of it. Typical causes of psychological trauma are sexual abuse, violence, the threat of either, or the witnessing of either, particularly in childhood. Catastrophic events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, war or other mass violence can also cause psychological trauma. Long-term exposure to situations such as extreme poverty or milder forms of abuse, such as verbal abuse, can be traumatic (though verbal abuse can also potentially be traumatic as a single event). In some cases, even a person's own actions, such as committing rape, can be traumatic if the offender feels helpless to control the urge to commit such crimes.

However, different people will react differently to similar events. One person may perceive an event to be traumatic that another may not, and not all people who experience a traumatic event will become psychologically traumatized.

See also

Specific:

Psychosomatic impact:

Physical:




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Psychological trauma" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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