There is a difference between abuse and trauma. Abuse happens whenever someone fails to respect the rights and dignity of another. There are many degrees and types of abuse, some minor in nature and some very serious. Verbal abuse (calling someone names and putting them down) is a medium serious form of abuse. Hitting someone (physical abuse) is a very serious form of abuse. Abuse may have happened during childhood or as an adult. It can be emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual.
Trauma can include dangerous, frightening, or extremely stressful situations or events, such as sexual assault, war, an accident or natural disaster, the sudden or violent death of a close loved one, or a serious physical health problem. The relationship between abuse and trauma, which refers to a type of injury, is that abuse can lead to trauma. However, it is important to understand that not everyone who has been abused becomes traumatised. Some people are exposed to trauma and they recover from it whilst some people don’t recover so well.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (and acute stress disorder) occurs when traumatised people get stuck processing their trauma and can’t get on with their lives. They deal with three types of disturbing symptoms. First, they suffer from intrusive thoughts and memories and dreams of their traumatic situation. Second, they try to escape from and avoid their trauma memories, but doing so severely restricts the quality of their life. Third, they are jumpy, hyped up and anxious at all times; they can’t relax or calm down.
The long-term effects of abuse or trauma can include:
The earlier a traumatised person goes for help, the better chance there is for them feeling better. At Live Your Story Counselling Services, our counsellors are committed to supporting you in this journey and assist you in addressing those concerning issues more effectively.
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