In CAMHS when we talk about trauma, we mean experiencing or witnessing something that is extremely stressful or frightening. It might be an accident, an attack or a disaster of some sort.
Trauma can affect different people in different ways, but it can be very distressing and cause feelings such as sadness, helplessness, confusion, anxiety, anger and frustration.
After a trauma you might also:
- find it hard to sleep, have bad dreams and nightmares
- feel anxious about being separated from people
- act younger than you actually are
- think about the event a lot and find it difficult to concentrate.
These are normal reactions to a very frightening thing and with support most young people get over the shock in a few weeks. To help you get through this difficult time, talking to someone you trust about how you are feeling can be really helpful.
Hopefully, with time, you’ll start to notice an improvement in how you’re feeling but if instead your feelings become more difficult and they’re affecting your daily life then it is important that you ask for help.
For some young people their response to a traumatic event is so severe that they develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These reactions can go on for months and interfere with everyday life significantly. If this is happening it is really important that you ask for help.
If you would like to know more about trauma and the help you can get you might find these websites useful: