What is Trauma?

Trauma can be a single event or series of traumatic events that are repeated over time causing an individual to become overwhelmed with painful and frightening emotions. Over the last few years the definition of psychological trauma has been broadened to include traumatic experiences such as physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse.

What are examples of traumatic experiences?

  • Childhood abuse (physical, sexual, emotional)
  • Domestic Violence
  • Being a witness to fatal violence (i.e. shooting, mugging, burglary, physical or sexual assault)
  • Chronic family discord
  • Sudden unexpected or violent death of someone close (I.e., suicide, accident)

Facts about Trauma


  • 70 % of adults in the United States have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives
  • Trauma is a risk factor in nearly all behavioral health and substance abuse disorders.
  • While many people who experience a traumatic event are able to move on with their lives without lasting negative effects, others may have more difficulty managing their responses to trauma. Trauma can have a devastating impact on physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • • Unaddressed trauma can significantly increase the risk of mental and substance use disorders, suicide, chronic physical ailments, as well as premature death