According to the charity Mind, trauma can sometimes directly cause mental health problems, or make you more vulnerable to developing them.
It is among the potential causes of all mental health problems. It can be difficult to tell which problems are being caused by trauma.
Some conditions are also known to develop as a direct result of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD).
Going through very stressful, frightening or distressing events is sometimes called trauma. This might include:
- situations or events we find traumatic
- how we’re affected by our experiences
Traumatic events can happen at any age and can cause long-lasting harm. Everyone has a different reaction to trauma, so you might notice any effects quickly, or a long time afterwards.
Ways trauma can happen include:
- one-off or ongoing events
- being directly harmed
- witnessing harm to someone else
- living in a traumatic atmosphere
- being affected by trauma in a family or community.
Large scale research into the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) has shown a significant correlation between the number of ACEs a person has, and mental as well as physical health problems.
Trauma-informed approaches have the potential to lead to a fundamental shift in how mental health services are organised and delivered, meaning that they are better able to meet the needs of people.