Emotional Response

Trauma refers to an emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event, or series of events, that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope and may have long-term psychological effects.

The symptoms of trauma can be complex and far-reaching. They may include:

Re-experiencing the traumatic event

This can occur in the form of intrusive memories, flashbacks, or nightmares. You might find yourself reliving the event over and over again.


You may go to great lengths to avoid anything that reminds you of the trauma, including places, people, thoughts, or situations that may bring back memories.

Changes in emotional reactions

This could be shown through irritability, anger, guilt, or feeling numb and detached. You may also have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.


You might feel constantly “on guard” or alert, leading to restlessness and sleep disturbances.

Negative changes in thoughts and mood

You might have a more negative self-view, struggle with feelings of hopelessness, or have difficulty remembering aspects of the traumatic event.

Physical symptoms

Trauma can also manifest as physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue.

Don't let fear and anxiety stop you from enjoying your life.

Just as with other conditions, there are 'differential diagnoses,' or conditions that may present similarly to trauma. These include:


While trauma can cause feelings of sadness, depression is characterized by persistent and pervasive low mood that affects all aspects of life.

Substance Use Disorders

The misuse of alcohol or drugs can sometimes be a coping mechanism for trauma, and it can also lead to symptoms that overlap with trauma, such as memory problems or mood changes.

Adjustment Disorder

This condition occurs when a person has difficulty adjusting to or coping with a significant life stressor, like a major life change or event. While it might involve similar symptoms, the stressors involved are typically non-life-threatening and less severe than those that can lead to trauma

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

While this might seem like the same as trauma, PTSD is a specific diagnosis that arises from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and involves a specific set of symptoms, including re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal.