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What are some examples of trauma?

Traumatic experiences are those events that can lead to physical, emotional or spiritual harm. A traumatic event may be a one-off experience like an accident or natural disaster or it could be an ongoing series of stressful or threatening situations like living in a dangerous neighbourhood, childhood sexual or emotional abuse or constant stress at work for example.

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Experiencing trauma can create stress reactions in the body like fear, jumpiness and efforts to avoid reminders of the traumatic event. These responses are normal and most people recover in time. Occasionally these stresses and fears can get in the way of everyday life for some people if they last for more than 4-6 weeks. For advice on Trauma informed practice training, contact a site like

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Being a witness to a violent event can also be an extremely traumatic experience for people, especially when it involves the death of a loved one. This explains why those in professions like police officer or firefighter have much higher incidences of PTSD than the general population.

Another form of trauma is abuse which can include being abused by those who are supposed to care for you, such as parents or caregivers who don’t meet basic needs such as feeding, providing clean water and clothes, comforting when afraid or sick and even forcing a person to convert or change their sexual orientation. Abuse that goes on over a prolonged period of time can lead to deep seated psychological harm and depression, for example.