Telehealth sessions in Maryland and DC

Does Trauma Always Lead to PTSD?

Trauma is a very difficult emotion to overcome. When you are traumatized, you may struggle to accept what has happened to you, and you may be unconsciously unwilling to confront your feelings, pain, and suffering. 

If you experienced trauma, you may be concerned about developing PTSD. However, trauma does not always lead to PTSD. Let’s take a closer look at trauma and how it is linked to PTSD to understand it better. 

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is the term we use to describe the emotional response to a traumatic event. These events are typically accidents, disasters, assaults, or other things of a similar nature. Because of these events, an individual may be traumatized as a result. 

When someone suffers from trauma, they may find it difficult to move on with their lives after the event has taken place. They may relive the experience, or be anxious about going out in public in case they get overwhelmed, triggered, or have a flashback. 

Some common signs of trauma include:

  • Shock
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Irritability
  • Denial
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling numb or disconnected
  • Guilt
  • Self blame
  • Mood swings
  • Flashbacks
  • Panic attacks

Trauma can be so distressing and severe that it can lead to PTSD. So, let’s take a look at what PTSD is. 

silhouette of man against sunset skyWhat Is PTSD?

PTSD is the abbreviation we use for posttraumatic stress disorder. This is a type of anxiety disorder that is typically caused by distressing, frightening, traumatizing, and stressful events in someone’s life. 

PTSD sufferers may be survivors of natural disasters, combat veterans, those who have witnessed a terrible crime, or those who have been exposed to trauma and abuse. 

Those suffering from PTSD may have negative or disturbing thoughts relating to the experience. They may feel intense guilt or shame, and may relive the experience through flashbacks or nightmares. These people tend to feel immense sadness, anger, fear, or they may distance themselves from others, feeling detached and isolated.

From the above definitions, you can see how closely linked trauma and PTSD are, as posttraumatic stress disorder is often derived from someone experiencing trauma. With this in mind, does trauma always lead to PTSD? 

Does Trauma Always Lead to PTSD?

Trauma is a contributing factor to PTSD, as those who go through something traumatic are often traumatized and can develop PTSD as a result. However, it is vital to note that not everyone who suffers from trauma will automatically develop PTSD. 

People deal with things differently, and we all have our own coping mechanisms. Some will develop PTSD not long after the event has taken place, whereas others may only have symptoms of PTSD some months or even years later. Others find different ways to cope with their trauma and may not develop PTSD at all.

PTSD can affect people at any age and at any time. This mental illness is most commonly found in survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, or accidents, in war veterans, or those who have suffered a natural disaster. 

In many cases, some do not need to have suffered from dramatic trauma to develop PTSD. For instance, the unexpected loss of a loved one can cause PTSD, or if someone witnesses a friend or family member experience a dangerous event, they too can get PTSD.

Remember, not everyone who goes through trauma will get PTSD. But if you are concerned that you are suffering from trauma, or that you are at risk of PTSD, then it is essential that you contact us for trauma therapy. You will gain the support, guidance, and resources you need to improve your life and recover.