An encyclopedia of childhood traumas and mental health
What Causes Trauma?
Trauma can be caused by an event so negative that it causes a lasting impact on the victim’s mental and emotional stability. This event can be anything ranging from a threat of injury to death. It can cause feelings of horror, helplessness, or intense fear. An invention causing trauma is dangerous or can be violent. Having witnessed such an event is itself traumatic, particularly in the case of young children, such events can be emotionally debilitating as they rely on their attachment figures.
Experiencing trauma can elicit many strong feelings and physical reactions that are persisting. Feelings of fear, helplessness, terror, as well as physiological reactions such as increased heart rate, vomiting, or loss of bladder control, may be experienced by children in case of being a victim. Moreover, such experiences can be overwhelming for those children who are on their own and lack of proper emotional support.
Regardless of the support and safety that adults provide to their children, a traumatic event can still occur in any form; for instance, a natural disaster, or a car accident. It may also be caused by family in the form of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or can occur within the family like the unexpected death of a loved one.