When trauma occurs and is a ‘one-off’ event, it is very normal to have your world turned upside down. Most people, with support, routine, self-care, and time, return to normal and feel like themselves again. For children and young people who have experienced trauma, one factor linked to their recovery and wellbeing is how they are responded to after the event. If children and young people are believed, supported, and protected by their caregivers, the risk of ongoing traumatisation lessens.
Trauma has a range of impacts, such as difficulty coping, and can shape someone’s sense of safety, trust, self-esteem, ability to be close to other people, and power or control, even if they don’t develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Certain factors can make it more likely that PTSD develops, such as the type of trauma (sexual assault, combat, and family violence pose a higher risk for developing PTSD). Repeated and multiple trauma also pose a higher risk for PTSD.
PTSD is characterised by avoiding reminders of the trauma, reliving the trauma or overwhelming emotions related to it, and having more negative feelings and thoughts. It also involves being tense or emotionally reactive (such as being irritable or angry), having insomnia, lacking concentration, being easily startled, or watching for danger or threats. It is possible to recover and regain your life from the effects of trauma and PTSD.