A trauma disorder is a mental health condition developed from a very stressful event or traumatic experience. Traumatic events can be derived from personal neglect, severe auto accident, a catastrophe, sudden loss of loved ones, or experience of violence as in military combat or different forms of abuse.

While these sorts of events may be very disturbing and even life-altering, most sufferers do not experience traumatic symptoms for extended periods. Following some emotional processing of the loss or incident, the distress symptoms should eventually subside.

For other patients, traumatic experiences can lead to daily struggles and can impair mental functioning. In some cases, patients develop substance abuse issues as a coping response to handle psychological distress. Trauma disorders can also disrupt personal, work, and family relationships. Also, individuals with trauma disorders might experience anxiety, dissociative, or obsessive-compulsive disorders. Trauma disorders are best treated with individualized therapy, social support, lifestyle change, and in some cases, the appropriate medication.

Types of Trauma Disorders

There are various ways traumatic incidents manifest as irregular thinking-behavior patterns.

Three forms of trauma disorders that have been identified include:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is characterized by a prolonged and persistent response towards having witnessed or experienced a devastating and traumatic event. Debilitating PTSD symptoms can continue for a month or longer and feature recurring nightmares and flashback memories of incidents along with insomnia and emotional numbness. It can also feature an aversion to people and situations that bring back emotionally painful memories, in which the patient becomes jumpy and easily startled, withdraws from friends and family, and develops guilty feelings. The likelihood of co-existing substance abuse disorders arising is high among persons who have PTSD, along with any depressive symptoms that attend the condition.

Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)

ASD follows similar types of causal events as featured in PTSD, such as very traumatic incidents that one experiences directly or indirectly with similar distressing symptoms, but which last less than a month.

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