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Trauma and PTSD

Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person's ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict. The implication of this is that trauma is in the nervous system and body, and not in the event. An event that is very traumatic to one person may not be traumatic to another person as people differ very widely in their ability to handle various kids of challenging situations due to different genetic makeup, early environmental challenges, and specific trauma and attachment histories. Trauma is a fact of life. Any event that triggers relative helplessness such as a car accident, a scary medical procedure or being harshly criticized and shamed as a child can trigger the same pathways in the brain as do abuse, rape or war. Trauma limits us and our options. Trauma often leads to us living into only a portion of our lives in order to try and stay safe. Trauma teaches us faulty messages about ourselves and others. Trauma impacts our access to our own autonomy. 

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