The onset of trauma: 10 events that can leave life-lasting emotional scars

Trauma impacts every area of your life. Many things can bring about trauma. However, it’s not the trauma that matters; it’s your reaction to it.

Anything that overwhelms you falls into this category, so no two people experience the same thing. This trauma rewires your brain and alters the way it interprets information. You live in fight-or-flight mode.

But what events can lead to emotional scars that last a lifetime? Here are 10 events that can leave life-long emotional scars

1) Abuse of any type

Any type of abuse is traumatic to a person. Emotional abuse often goes unrecognized but damages the victim. Verbal and emotional abuse are also harmful. Sadly, several other types of abuse lead to trauma.

This list includes physical and sexual abuse. However, it also encompasses spiritual and religious abuse, such as when a parent doesn’t seek medical care for a child because it goes against their religion.

2) Child neglect

When a parent fails to meet the physical or emotional needs of a child, this trauma remains with them for life. The child may be unable to regulate their moods and emotions. Often, this inability to do so continues into adulthood unless they receive mental health treatment.

3) Accidents and natural disasters

Accidents and natural disasters are common causes of trauma. Some people move on easily. Other individuals struggle to recover, particularly if they lose a loved one, their homes, or their possessions as a result of an accident or natural disaster. They may have an overwhelming fear that it will happen again.

4)  Attacks or assaults

When a person is attacked and physically harmed, they learn the world isn’t safe. They may have flashbacks to the event and feel they are reliving it again. The body goes into fight-or-flight mode. Unfortunately, assaults and attacks remain common today, particularly in high schools. 25% of high school students say they have been in one or more physical altercations.

5) Witnessing abuse or violence in the home

Children who grow up in a home with domestic abuse or violence are at great risk of mental health and behavioral problems. One in 15 children is exposed to this abuse each year. Younger children react more strongly to this violence, particularly children who are not yet verbal.

6) Seeing bodily harm or death firsthand

A person of any age is traumatized when a person is physically injured or killed in front of them. Their mind and emotions are overwhelmed. Witnessing repeated situations such as this increases the likelihood of long-lasting trauma. First responders are at high risk of PTSD, depression, and suicide because they witness these situations regularly.

7) The loss of a close family member or friend

When a family member or friend dies suddenly or violently, it affects those left behind. They don’t have time to prepare their emotions for this loss, so these emotions quickly overwhelm them. They may shut down as a result of the trauma.

8) Community violence

Community violence leaves those who reside in the area with a feeling they are not safe. Gang violence and political violence are commonplace in some areas, while other men and women live in areas where genocide is an issue. Mass shootings in public places are another example of community violence.

9) High-stress environments

High-stress environments often lead to complex trauma. Repeated exposure leads to a person feeling as if they are always in danger of harm.

An abusive household where people are scared they could do something wrong at any time is an example of a high-stress environment. People often overlook this type of trauma because it occurs over time rather than in a single incident.

10) School violence

School violence is a form of trauma. Homicides and assaults with firearms are always a concern. However, cyberbullying is on the rise. When kids are exposed to trauma while their brains are still developing, they are at higher risk of other mental health issues.

The impact of trauma is far-reaching. It affects every aspect of the person’s world. This trauma doesn’t have to control a person’s life. They can overcome the trauma the right help. Any person who believes trauma is impacting them should seek this help today.